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JOSEPH W. SMITH
ADDISON C. GETCHELL & SON, PRINTERS
^^ ;io3^?,s .9
TO MY FRIENDS
THIS LITTLE BOOK OF REMINISCENCES
ANDOVER. MASS., MARCH, 1907
BRUNSWICK, GEORGIA, IN 1853
N November, 1853* when I was twenty-two
}^ars of age, I was called to a position that
involved responsibility, energy, tact, and no
small degree of personal risk. I duly felt the
importance of my position, and accepted it with all the
enthusiasm of youth, feeling highly complimented by
the trust imposed in me, and yet not carelessly considering
the cost. The duties of the office I was to fill called me
to the South, and, as my mission threatened to be a disturb-
ing one, my movements required the utmost caution. With
a full sense, therefore, of what was required of me I
rather impatiently awaited my orders, which came in the
following " Letter of Instructions : ** —
"Boston, Nov, 4, 1853.
Mr. J. W. Smith :
Dear Sir: — You will proceed, this afternoon, to New
York, and report yourself at Messrs. Nay lor & Co.'s, 99
John Street, holding yourself in readiness to leave New
York tomorrow, by steamer to Savannah, in case our New
York house so direct. On your arrival at Savannah you
will call upon the house of which you will receive the
address in New York, for later instructions by telegraph
than we now give you. Unless these later instructions are
to the contrary, you will proceed with the utmost despatch
from Savannah to Brunswick. If, when you reach Bruns-
wick, the Agnes has arrived there, deliver to the Captain
the letter of Messrs. A. Cunningham & Sons (now in New
York). Show him the bill of lading of the cargo, en-
dorsed to our order, and direct him to proceed to New
York or to Philadelphia, according to your last instructions
and letter herewith. Should the Agnes not have arrived,
you will please call upon Mr. John Brooks in Brunswick,
and arrange with him to have the Agnes come to anchor
in a safe position in the harbor of Brunswick, far enough
away from shore to protect the captain from losing his
crew, and return immediately to Savannah to be ready
there to receive new instructions by mail or by telegraph.
After the Agnes has come to anchor, let Mr. Brooks
inform you at Savannah of the arrival, if a mail leaves
immediately, by mail; if no reliable public conveyance
goes, let Mr. Brooks at our expense send a special mes*
senger to you at Savannah. The moment you hear of
the arrival of the Agnes^ telegraph the news to Naylor &
Co., New York, and then proceed immediately to Bruns-
wick, deliver your letters to Capt. Scott, and show him
our letter and bill of lading, and direct Capt. Scott to do
what your last instructions say, be it to land the cargo
in Brunswick, to go to New York or Philadelphia. The
letter that lies in New York for Capt. Scott directs him
to go to New York. It must not be delivered to him unless
such are your last instructions. Should you have no later
advices, by telegraph or by mail, you will act upon the
last instructions received at New York before sailing.
Be very particular at Savannah to inquire at telegraph
office for messages to you. You will find a copy of this
letter, by mail in Savannah, in case you should lose this.
Yours most truly
Naylor & Co."
There must seem in this a mystery as great as that which
surrounds the secret deliberations of national councils where
the vital interests of a people are concerned ; and yet it
was only regarding a cargo of railroad iron, and its aim
was merely to protect the rights of one individual against
the fraud or failure of another. And this brings me to the
story of what I saw and did as agent for one of the parties
The ship Agnesj Capt. J. Edwards Scott, owned by
Smith, Dove & Company of Andover, Mass., was bound
from England to Brunswick, Ga,, with a cargo of railroad
iron (1405 tons), to be used upon a projected railroad, ex-
tending westerly from Brunswick towards Albany, Ga., and
New Orleans, of which only five miles had already been
laid. Naylor & Company were the charterers of the vessel,
and the railroad iron was sold to a New York company
having charge of land speculations in the town of Bruns-
wick, then striving to become a rival of Savannah in com-
mercial importance. This company failed to meet its
obligations, and it became necessary that steps should be
taken to hold this property in the interest of its creditors.
Hence my agency in the matter and the necessity for secrecy
which lay in the fact that the builders of the road and the
townspeople were on the quivive for the arrival of the ship,
that construction work might be pushed without interrup-
tion. Interference certainly promised most unpleasant
In conformity with my " Letter of Instructions," on the
afternoon of November 4, 1853, I started for New York,
and, on the morning of the 5th, immediately reported my-
self to Mr. W. L. King, the managing member of the firm
of Naylor & Company, who gave me my final instructions
regarding the course I was to pursue as follows : —
"As soon as you arrive in Savannah inquire at the Post
Office for letters and at the telegraph office for despatches,
and see if there is any other J. W. Smith in Savannah who
may have your letters. In telegraphing you, we shall not
mention the name of the vessel, but if we say 'the ship,'
you will, of course, know we mean the Agnes. Please be
very particular, in Savannah, not to have it known that
the object of your journey is to change the destination of
the ship Agnes. Also please see that neither Mr. John
Brooks, at Brunswick, or the pilot, make any mention of
it. We will direct your letters to Joseph Warren Smith,
Savannah. Our address is Naylor & Co., 99 John Street,
New York. Our telegraph messages will perhaps be
signed Naylor & Co., N. & Co., or W. L. King. On
your arrival at Savannah, if you have time, write us,
informing us if there is any news of the Agnes; also in-
forming us on what days the steamboats leave Brunswick
for Savannah. Stop at the Pulaski House, which is the
best house there. Call upon Cohen & Fosdick, and say
that you may have some letters sent to their care, but
don't say that you are going to Brunswick unless you are
obliged to do so, and upon no account tell them the object
of your visit. We expect to telegraph you on Monday
next at Savannah with our latest instructions. We will
have our messages left at the telegraph office, where you
must inquire two or three times a day."
With these momentous instructions in my pocket I em-
barked November S, at 4 p.m., on the steamer Augusta^
Captain Lyon, for Savannah, but when evening came on —
"mother of dews" — I found that due accommodations for
sleeping could not be provided. It was the season for
Southern migration, even then quite extensive, and to get
a berth was impossible. I appealed to the captain, but he
couldn't help me any, and blamed the agents for selling
so many tickets when they must have known there was
not sufficient accommodation. Who ever knew an agent
of steamboats that would not sell as long as there were
buyers, though crowded quarters and stifled passengers
had long been crying, " Hold ! enough "? The quarters in
this case didn't hold enough, and so I had to make other
arrangements for a bed, and, taking two of the settee
cushions, I deposited myself under the saloon table, with
my overcoat for a pillow, and passed three nights under
most uncotniorlable trial. My condition was not as happy
as that of the imprisoned cobbler in Pickwick who slept
under Ats table, for he, through a fertile fancy, imagined
himself on a four-post bedstead. But I made the best I
could of it, and laid my case under the table for future
Cape Hatteras did not forget to give us a shaking up, a
sort of caper sauce not pleasant for inexperienced lambs of
passage, who devoted their time, principally, to " casting up
their accounts." We were accompanied all of one day by
the steamer James Adger^ bound for Charleston, S.C.,
which vessel was but a mile distant, and it was a relief to
feel that we were not quite alone upon the waste of waters.
We arrived at our dock in Savannah, November 8, after
a passage of fifty-seven hours from New York — about an
average trip. Unaccustomed to the sea, I found it difiicult
to overcome the tendency to roll acquired on shipboard,
and on stepping ashore it seemed that I must have some-
thing to hold on to ; and it was two or three days before I
regained my "land legs/' I commenced my business at
once, according to instructions, including a visit to the rice
mills owned by Cohen & Fosdick, and had quite a pleas-
ant interview with the firm. Among my new acquaintances
at Savannah was a Mr. Raymond, a classmate of my
cousin, Peter Smith Byers.
November gth. I took passage on the steamer D. L.
Adams for Brunswick, Ga., for the importance of which
place great expectations were entertained, doomed not
yet to be realized. These expectations were raised, in
large part, upon hopes such as my mission was to frustrate,
hopes built upon paper, with speculation for their base.
About the year 1835 great efforts were made to make this
port one of note and a rival of the city of Savannah. The
town was handsomely laid out, upon paper, and several
operations commenced in harmony with the avowed inten-
tion. An immense hotel was erected, — so regarded at the
time, — streets were outlined but never graded, sites were
set aside for public structures, parks were contemplated,
and wharves to accommodate an extensive commerce were
planned ; but public expectation failed as did private en-
terprise, and hope was at a great discount, when a new
railroad was proposed. Its heralded advantages gave a
stimulus to the still living ambition of the place. But,
alas ! " the best laid schemes o' mice an* men gang aft
agley," and, as in thousands of other cases, hope's flatter-
ing tale was told in but one chapter. The railroad was a
failure, and the lofty pageantry of the dream melted into
thin air, leaving but a wreck behind. The fairy slipper
was lost, and Cinderella had to wear her old shoes. Per-
haps, however, some day it may be found. Let us sin-
cerely hope so.
When I reached Brunswick, I immediately sought out
Mr. John Brooks to whom I had a letter of introduction.
I was met very cordially by him, but, at the same time, he
felt badly to know that the trouble with the Land Company
was of such a serious nature ; nevertheless, he was ready
to carry out instructions. I was placed in a peculiar posi-
tion, being obliged to remain in Brunswick two days, or
while the inland steamer should make her trip to Palatka,
Fla., and return. At the hotel every one was talking
about the overdue Agnes with the railroad iron. Seem-
ingly ignorant of everything affecting their interests in the
ship, I mixed with traders, sawmill operators, canal pro-
jectors, land speculators, and the rest of the crowd, and
overheard much of their conversation, concluding that,
under the circumstances, I must keep '* mum," as I seemed
to be the "one man power" to spoil all their calculations.
Had my errand been known to the citizens of Brunswick,
I should have been much safer at that time north of
Mason and Dixon's line. However, I got in and out
of Brunswick, having accomplished my purpose, and it
afforded me much matter for self-congratulation when
I could again breathe the air of heaven without fear
of being molested.
I remained in Savannah nearly two weeks before the
Agnes arrived. I was made aware of her arrival by a
knock upon the door of my room at the Pulaski House one
morning at about 3 o'clock, the intelligence being brought
by Captain Scott himself. He had received his letters
from the pilot, and came to anchor in the lower bay at
Brunswick, and, leaving his vessel in charge of the first
officer, hastened to Savannah to learn the facts. Fortu-
nately, I had on the previous evening received a telegram
from New York to have the Agnes go to the wharf at
Brunswick and discharge her cargo but to land the iron in
bond, and for me to stay, enter the iron at the Custom
House, and see that all instructions were carried out.
Captain Scott left for Brunswick by the morning boat, and
I awaited detailed instructions by letter from New York.
After making preliminary arrangements at the Savannah
Custom House, where Mr. Boston, the collector, assisted me
in filling out my entry blanks, I proceeded to Brunswick,
calling at Darien for Mabray, the collector of that district.
I was fortunate to have made preparation, for the Agnes
was the first ship for many years to enter Brunswick har-
bor, and the collector was rusty in the practice of his office.
On my arrival at Brunswick I expected to see the vessel
made fast to the wharf; but no, she had touched upon the
inner bar, and was then lying there. A schooner was
brought into requisition to take off some 300 tons of her
cargo, which lightened her so that she came off at high
water, and proceeded up to town. The wharf that had
been constructed especially for her proved to be not strong
enough, for the first night that she came in contact with the
poorly constructed fabric she broke away some sixty feet
of it. The natives were alarmed lest the entire wharf
should go to pieces. The timbers which were carried
away journeyed down to Jekyl Island and back at intervals,
occupying two or three days in transit.
The sad news that the cargo of railroad iron was to be
landed in bond struck dismay to the hearts of all. Though
the true condition of the Land Company was now gener-
ally known, some were confident that everything would
come out right in the end. But their hopes were never
realized. We got everything in readiness and commenced
discharging, but it was slow work, as the vessel heeled
over so much with the ebb and flow of the tide. A line of
rail was laid down the (d) wharf ed wharf, and the iron
conveyed to a suitable spot upon the shore, where it was
neatly piled up in eight square piles about 3} feet high.
The iron was in 12, 15, and 18 feet lengths.
Here I had my first experience with negro labor. I man-
aged the shore gang in the interest of Naylor & Com-
pany ; Captain Scott and myself knew each other well, and
we worked together admirably. My crew consisted of a
dozen men with Eli and the mule extra, and for five weeks
we labored together. Christmas holidays were approach-
ing and the captain hardly knew what to do as the negroes
would have four days to themselves at that time. We
talked over the matter, got what we could of both gangs
that were working, and supplemented the number with a
few men we chanced to pick up in the town, to each of
whom we paid, in his own right hand, a five dollar bill.
After the holidays the old gang resumed work, being quite
fresh after visiting their friends in the country. We had,
as I mentioned, Eli and the mule. Eli was pretty stub-
born sometimes, so much so that it was difficult to tell
which was the mule. There was one negro in the gang
who was designed for an **end man" in the Ethiopian
world's concert, for he kept us all in good spirits. His
name was Josh Berry — a real blackberry — and we could
not speak to him without his boiling over with mirth. He
was coal black, bandy-legged, and about middle-aged.
He was a very fair barber and would have made his mark
in tonsorial operations in any Northern city. Among the
men were also two six-footers whom we called Jake and Jim.
These men stood next to the platform car and received the
pieces from the others who took them from the slings, and,
being very stalwart, they handled the iron pieces as if
they were fence rails. Eli occasionally would be fooling
around the car, and I heard Jake say, just as an i8-foot
rail was being put thereon, "Take kar, dar, Eli ; take kar ;
ef yer don't yer'll be pawin* round in de water after dat
mool of yourn."
Many were the incidents connected with that memorable
trip to Brunswick that are pleasant to recall, and some not
so pleasant. When the iron was all landed, I presumed
my labor in the business had ceased ; but Mr. Mabray, the
collector, in disregard of my remonstrance that it was not
my business to build Southern bonded warehouses, com-
pelled me to put a wooden fence around the iron, which I
did at a cost of eighteen dollars and fifty cents. I had
some fun out of it, however. I remarked to the standing
committee of the town who superintended the building of
the fence, that perhaps the iron was in some danger of
being eaten by the hungry swine round about, and that it
might lie heavy on their stomachs, but if it were pig-iron,
there would be no doubt about it, and the fence must be a
necessity. The committee saw the irony of the remark,
but did not rail.
I greatly enjoyed the companionship of Captain Scott,
while the Agnes was discharging her iron, rooming on
board the ship at night and taking my meals at the hotel.
Mr. Brooks's family, who also came from the captain's
home, Wiscasset, Me., used to visit the ship, accompanied
at times by Mr. Samuel H. Allen, a sort of lieutenant of
Mr. Brooks, and many a pleasant evening we had together.
There were five of Mr. Brooks's daughters all grown up,
and I, being a young man, of course received some pretty
hard thrusts, which, however, I managed to parry. One
evening the chair I was sitting in came down with a tremen-
dous crash, and I lay sprawling upon the floor. This would
have been a settler to a timid man, and I had always fancied
myself timid, but I wriggled through the difficulty like an
eel, and, rising to my feet, I repeated to the young ladies
the old saying: ''Love in a tub and the bottom fell out."
This created a laugh, and mortification flew off in the
explosion. I have often since said, when speaking of the
foregoing, that if one can only break the spell of bashful-
ness — even though he break a chair to do it — he is all
right, and the tide turns in his favor.
There was a canal project, to the digging of which I
have already alluded, that was to unite the waters of the
Altamaha river with the arm of the sea a few miles above
Brunswick, by which lumber was to be brought from the
country above and floated down the canal, connecting with
deep water at Brunswick, but the bottom dropped out of
the project as disastrously as did that of the tub above
alluded to, under pressure, and I opine that Mr. Collins
made more money from renting his canal negroes to dis-
charge the Agnes than he did from profits of the ditch that
never was dug. The entire movement to make Brunswick
a big commercial city, a centre for trade in Southern
products, to be connected by rail and boat with the Gulf
cities, went down as decidedly as I did in the crushed chair,
perhaps to rise again under better auspices, as I did. But
the building up of new places and the resuscitating of old
ones are not works of speedy accomplishment. Enter-
prise must give the momentum and time prove kind. This
same arm of the sea that Brunswick is situated upon was
once thought of as a Southern naval station, the water
being so deep.
I made the acquaintance of quite a number of the citi-
zens of Brunswick, who paid me marked attention, still
clinging to the hope that though the iron was bonded it
would eventually be devoted to the purpose for which it
was intended. Among those with whom I became most
intimate was a merchant named Friedlander, a German
from New York, who had come South with a large stock of
clothing, Yankee notions, etc., to make his fortune. I
speak of him, in particular, because the acquaintance thus
commenced was renewed after a long lapse of time, as
mentioned in a subsequent narrative. There was a news-
paper in the place which gave weekly an account of the
progress of business matters, the landing of the bonded
iron among the rest. There was a great deal of grum-
bling among the people that the iron was not laid down at
once, as they expected, but no violence was threatened.
They seemed to be lulled by a faint idea that the rails
would be released eventually, and the road would be com-
pleted, or at least advanced till the interior of the State was
gained, and thereby facilitate the moving of cotton to the
seaboard for shipment to Europe. Unfortunately the
money bases of all the public business operations of Bruns-
wick were not of a sound character ; speculation languished
and hope fled.
It was very strange that Mr. John Brooks did not
come in for a share of abuse, as he was the one above all
others who knew about the condition of the New York
land and railroad speculators and withheld it from the
people. It would have taken but a very little stirring to
awaken a profound sensation against him and me, but the
opportunity went by and nothing was done. I associated
intimately at the hotel with people most interested in the
fortunes of the new town in which this proposed railroad
was a very important factor, among whom was Mr. Helm,
who had a good deal of money staked in various ways.
Another one, Collins, was engaged in digging a canal,
employing a large number of negroes of whom we hired
the most of our men required for discharging cargo. I
left the bonded iron, after I had built the fence round
it, in charge of a Mr. Bourke, who was appointed deputy
collector under Mr. Mabray.
When the ship lay on the bar previous to her coming
up to the wharf, she was visited by quite a number of the
town's people, who had not seen for twenty years so
large a ship in Brunswick harbor. The harbor is a very
pretty one, and the view from the spot where the Agnes
lay towards Jekyl and St. Simon's Islands was truly
charming. These islands are handsomely wooded, and
St. Simon's, with its beautifully proportioned beacon, is an
object of pleasure not often met on the Southern coast.
Game of almost every description abounds upon these
islands, and not infrequently deer are captured there. The
entrance to the harbor lies between St. Simon's and Jekyl
Islands, and is comparatively narrow, rendering the har-
bor one of complete protection against storms. Oysters
in great abundance literally line the creeks in the vicinity,
and, though small, they are quite palatable and rich.
Ducks in myriads inhabit these waters, and any day large
numbers can be seen either flying over or swimming the
creeks at high water. Sea Island cotton is produced on
some of the other islands, and on one there is a plantation
where a force of 500 negroes is employed.
Inland steamers were at that time plying twice a week
between Savannah and Jacksonville, Fla. An opposition
line had just been started, and my first passage was by
this line on the D. L. AdamSy having bidden my Bruns-
wick friends " Farewell ! to all a kind farewell," not deem-
ing it probable that I should ever see any of them again.
That trip was to me a novel one. Leaving Savannah, we
passed down the Savannah river a number of miles into
the Warsaw, then up by Thunderbolt and Bonaventura ;
but, although we had actually traveled fifteen miles by
boat we were then only four miles, ''as the crow flies,"
from Savannah, so crooked was our path through the low
marshy lands seaward from the city. Continuing on, we
passed through sounds and creeks and narrow rivers, some
so narrow and shallow that two steamboats cannot pass
each other, and, not infrequently, the boats ground, lying
in the mud over one tide. When they get fast to the
soft bottom all efforts, of course, are made to get them
off, the most effectual being to send a boat ahead, manned
by half a dozen negroes, who, taking a stout rope with
them, fasten it to a long pole thrust deeply down into the
soft mud in a slanting position, and then attach the other
end of the rope to the capstan on board the steamer ; that,
turned by the aid of the engines, soon drags them out of
the mud. We grounded in the Mud river at half tide but
could not bring the above method into requisition because
the stream was so wide. For some miles the tide went
out and left us as high and dry as if we had been in the
middle of a prairie. I tried to see for myself how far I
could thrust a pole into the mud, and, taking one about
20 feet long, I forced it down, by my own strength, from
12 to 15 feet. We were released when the water returned
to half tide, and went on our way rejoicing. I truly said
that this route was a novel one. Now we would be shut
into a narrow stream and then we would come out again
almost into the open sea. It was varied enough, but the
variety afforded very little amusement. Darien, at which
port we stopped, wore quite a busy aspect, and a number of
schooners were loading with lumber for Southern Georgia.
The famous cypress tree grew luxuriantly all along our
route, its sombre drapery waving in the wind, giving a
sort of funereal aspect to the scene. "Dug-outs" are
made from the trunks of the cypress, and some of them
are very tastily finished. I witnessed a race, subsequently,
upon the Savannah river, between several "dug-outs,"
all manned by sturdy negroes from the island plantations.
Dubigon, a rich planter on one of the islands near Bruns-
wick, was very fond of this kind of sport, and always
proud if his " boys " — all negroes are " boys " down South —
were the winners of the race.
Returning to Savannah, to await messages from New
York, I had as much opportunity afforded me for seeing
Southern city life as limited time allowed. Stopping at the
Pulaski House, the best in the city, I met many of the first
citizens whom business or pleasure called to the hotel.
The house was owned and managed by Colonel Will-
berger, assisted by a Mr. McKenzie of Philadelphia, with
James Oakes of New York as steward. Two steamship
lines were running to and from New York and Philadel-
phia. I was quite intimate with Captain Lyon of the
Augusta steamer. Through Cohen & Fosdick, to whose
care my letters had been directed, I made quite a number
of valuable acquaintances ; prominent among them were
Mr. Hertz of Cohen & Hertz ; Paddleford & Fay, Phila-
delphia steamship agents, and Claghorn & Cunningham,
general merchants and ship chandlers. I was indebted
to Mr. Boston, collector of the port, for valuable services
and advice in connection with the discharge of the Agnes^s
Savannah is a very pretty city, pleasantly situated upon
a bluff overlooking sea and country at elevated points, the
cupola of the Exchange commanding a fine view of both.
Agreeable surroundings, therefore, with pleasant compan-
ionship, made my sojourn in Savannah very satisfactory.
I was invited out to dine several times, and, of course, had
an opportunity for seeing something of the inside of South-
ern society. I was at Mr. Hertz's one day at dinner when
the subject of slavery was introduced. '* Well, Mr. Smith, **
said my host, ''you see how I am situated. It is perfectly
natural for me to hold slaves, for I inherited the two or three
that I own from my father. They were brought up, -as it
were, in the family, with this difference ; I as master, they
as slaves. The right and wrong of the matter does not
trouble me, as I know nothing beyond what actually
exists. They, of course, are my property, according to
the law of the land, which acknowledges slaves as prop-
erty that can be bought and sold." I let him do all the
talking on the subject, although I indulged my own
thought. Kindness was the rule extended to me every-
where, in spite of my damaging errand, and I felt grateful
for the attentions shown a stranger. Hospitality is the pre-
vailing sentiment at the South, as far as my narrow experi-
ence enables me to testify. I was happy in this, made
more so by the reflection that I had so well achieved my
success in performing the important office with which I
had been intrusted. It was a young man's first responsi-
ble business, and I may well be pardoned for feeling proud
that confidence in me had not been misplaced.
One gentleman in Savannah, Mr. Mitchell, from Port-
land, Me., cotton buyer for Cohen & Fosdick, evinced
much interest in me, as did a Scotchman by the name of
Galloway, because I was from Scotch stock. Mr. Gallo-
way gave me a very cordial welcome, and, in the enjoy-
ment of such kindnesses as were manifested by him and
others, the threat of homesickness while waiting was ban-
ished, and I wrote to friends at home in the most cheerful
spirit. I remained in Savannah partly to settle up mat-
ters, but more particularly to await the arrival of the Agfies^
about which I had begun to feel anxious, as it was only a
day or two's sail from Brunswick to Savannah. She was
more than a week in making the passage, for she had
nothing in her but ballast and was blown far off the coast.
Upon arrival she went on the berth and loaded cotton for
I embarked for home in the steamship Keystone State^
Captain Hardie, for Philadelphia, and, after a rather dis-
agreeable passage, we reached Delaware Bay ; the rain
ceased, but the weather was so thick that the captain had
to creep into the bay by soundings only. After we were
fairly in the bay, it cleared up and a regular northwester
blew right square in our teeth. The weather had been
'• soft," but during the night everything was frozen up in
Philadelphia as hard as granite. I found it the same in
New York and on my way home through Connecticut. I
felt it the keener because, when I left Savannah, the ther-
mometer showed 70° above, while on my arrival home, it
revealed the startling figure of 30° below zero. So wide
a difference could hardly be fancied possible. As I
remember, it was an exceptional year for coldness, and I
suffered exceedingly from the sudden change.
BRUNSWICK TWENTY-FIVE YEARS
AFTER, AND TRAVELS FURTHER
N the 15th of February, 1878, a party of four,
comprising George W. Coburn and self and the
"belter half" of each, left Boston for Florida,
over the New York & New England railroad.
The trip to Harlem river was made with ease and com-
fort, and there, embarking on the great transfer steamer
Maryland^ we made the circuit of New York city to
Jersey City, where we were to take cars for the " sunny
South." On our way we passed "Hell Gate," properly
named, where the recent explorations had been made by
government engineers with a view to deepening the chan-
nel (long so perilous for commerce), and enabling sailing
vessels to pass with safety. The plan of the engineers
was to tunnel through the solid rock under the bed of the
river, and then by electricity explode a mine of dynamite
there laid, letting the debris down into the cavity below.
A herculean task, but what cannot science accomplish I
We passed Blackwell's Island, that great receptacle of
crime and degradation, but so grand and orderly in all
its arrangements; and under the great wire bridge that
connects New York with Brooklyn — a gigantic enter-
prise, I noted great changes in East and North rivers
that had occurred since my first visit over thirty years
before, but the greatest change of all was in respect to
shipping. Then forests of masts extended along the en-
tire water front from East river round to the Hudson,
and the harbor was full of vessels at anchor waiting for
dockage. Now sailing vessels are almost abandoned for
steamers, and from the Battery to Pier Fifty and above is
a cordon of ocean steamers and coast and river boats.
Then the only ocean steamers were the Cunarders — the
old side-wheelers — whose red chimneys I still recognized ;
now elegant steam propellers make their way to every
quarter of the globe, weaving commercial webs as the
good Scotch housewife weaves her web of *' braw seven-
teen hunder linen." A dozen lines of steamers now ply
across the vast " herring pond," and each day, especially
Saturday, witnesses the departure of numbers of them for
their " march over the mountain wave " to their destination
abroad. The Battery, which had been neglected for many
years, I found greatly improved.
We were on time at Jersey City, and there took sleep-
ing cars for Richmond — or we didn't exactly, for though
a telegram to Boston had said it was all right, we found
it all wrong, as four upper berths had been assigned
to our party, the tenants on the lower floor unknown.
Upon demanding our rights, the "gentlemanly Porter,"
with the importance of his position, replied, "Yes, sar,
dar am foah upper berths at your service, sar," and
that was the best he would do, notwithstanding all our re-
monstrances. We had seats in the sleeping car until we
reached Philadelphia, when we found two of the sections
reserved for Philadelphia not taken down. We were
right on hand and made up our minds that if we could not
have what we had first engaged we would break our jour-
ney and remain in Philadelphia over night and start again
next morning. No thanks were due from us to the rail-
road officials, who didn't seem to interest themselves in
our behalf. In this condition of things a pleasant bit of a
joke occurred at my expense. We spoke to the conductor
and asked him what he thought regarding the prospect of
our obtaining sections at Philadelphia. George was stand-
ing in the aisle, and I was sitting with my cape on. The
conductor said if we were on time at Philadelphia the
train would wait there fifteen minutes, but if behind time we
would get away as soon as possible, and he suggested our
going to the office when we arrived, and finding out whether
the sleeping-car tickets were taken. Then, turning to
George, he said: "You had better go, as you can go up
and back so much quicker than the old gentleman can."
We got our sections, "on to Richmond," and it was very
comical to see and hear what was transpiring all about us.
First there was the porter, a dignitary of more importance
than the President of the road, the embodiment of Pomp^
which perhaps was his name, though he kept dark about
it. The consequence he gave to every act was amusing.
The making up of the beds was a fine art in which he
luxuriated. He had an assistant who did the work, but
the looking on was very laborious. He was polite and
attentive, but patronizing to everybody. I was made more
appreciative of his weight during the night, when he tum-
bled over upon me, and I thought the roof of the car had
fallen in. Many of the passengers could not sleep, and
they seemed disposed to prevent the rest from doing so.
Half-suppressed conversations between the upper and
lower berths, tittering and spleeny soliloquies, restless
turning and growling, looking after baggage, calls upon
the porter for water, children cr3ring, one voice asking
''Wife, did you bring them pills?" — these and all the
usual attendants upon a night ride were there ; and I lay
quietly and laughed. By ii o'clock, one by one the
sounds ceased, and a new feature manifested itself — the
nose. Then occurred a nasal concert of unsurpassed qual-
ity that was heard even above the rushing of the cars.
Every variety of snoring asserted itself, from the loud snort
of the masculine snorer to the gentle cadence of feminine
capacity with a soporific tendency. But gradually the car
settled itself to sleep, the porter standing like a dark senti-
nel over his recumbent charge. The train moved on very
smoothly all night, although we were a little behind time,
and, the engine giving out, we were delayed two hours
until another locomotive came to our relief. I called the
iw^iV Sitting Bull."
We arrived at Richmond at 9 o'clock a.m., an hour late,
and drove immediately to the ''Ballard & Exchange."
The drivers were the most comical Jehus in ebony that I
had ever seen and, thanks to the dispensation of freedom,
such as these are the only drivers in the South now. After
washing away the traces of the night ride and taking
breakfast, we took carriage to make the best of our time
while in the city. We had a very intelligent driver, with
a broad streak of comicality about him, who took us first
to Libby Prison, that noted place of suffering in which,
we were told, seven hundred of our Union soldiers were
confined at one time during the War of the Rebellion.
It is a tobacco factory now, though some rooms in other
parts of the building are devoted to other purposes. In
one of these a guano factory was in operation, but we did
not linger there very long. Our next visit was to ** Castle
Thunder," and well called, for it must have been thunder-
ing rough for our boys to be imprisoned there. From here
we were taken out of the city to see the earthworks thrown
up by the Confederates for the defence of Richmond,
which were very formidable and not easy to master if held
by determined spirits. Fortunately the " cruel war is over,"
and the mounds remain only as reminders of sad scenes
that "might have been."
We were shown a house upon the site of which Poca-
hontas is alleged to have saved the life of Capt. John
Smith. There are probably other places that make the
same claim, but the house was a voucher that carried some
conviction with it, as did the house of Mary of Magdala as
seen by Mark Twain who knew she must have lived there
because he saw the house. We drove next to the Union
Soldiers' Cemetery, a most interesting point for a Northerner
to visit, where most of the large number buried are unknown
— a sad thought I The fortifications contiguous have been
levelled to a great extent and the land turned to its original
uses. Such are time's changes. We took in Washington's
headquarters en route^ but the Father of his Country had
so many headquarters that they possess little interest. We
enjoyed more a view of Richmond from one of the high hills
in the vicinity, where a very fine panorama was presented.
An interesting relic was pointed out — the little St. John's
church where Patrick Henry made his fiery speech against
the bishops, as every schoolboy will remember.
Returning to Richmond, the Memorial Church is an edi-
fice built upon the site of the Richmond Theatre which was
burnt many years ago with great sacrifice of life. I think
the governor of the state was one of the victinnis. Jeff
Davis's residence and that of General Lee on Main street
are pointed out to visitors. The Richmond Theatre is lo-
cated on Broad street, one of the principal thoroughfares.
I saw Sothern here in his character of the " Crushed Tra-
gedian," and I could not help contrasting him with the
crushed Davis; Sothern was playing his part, but the
other's part was a terrible verity.
The business of Richmond was almost ruined by the war,
but it has recovered to a great extent. It met with a severe
trial, in November, 1878, when a tremendous flood swelled
the James so that it overflowed its bounds and did great
damage to Richmond and all the country round about, but
there is more energy there than in many other Southern
cities, and Richmond is picking up what it has lost. There
is considerable shipping at Richmond, and the bridge over
the James is a structure of which the city may well be
proud. On our way around the place, I called upon
Messrs. Putny & Watts, and Mr. Watts gave me a history
of his fortunes when the war broke out. He was born at
the North and his sympathies were with the Union. He
bought up all the Northern funds he could find, including
a bill of exchange on England for one thousand pounds
sterling, which he held for negotiation, though suffering
much from the oppression of his neighbors. Francis
Dane and F. Jones were among his best friends through
all his trouble. He showed himself, amid all, a true man,
and his business integrity was unimpeached.
Among many other points of interest the road was pointed
out by which the Union army entered Richmond, the cha-
grin of the people being manifested by dilapidated fences,
not since restored. There was a Partingtonian tendency
that I gravely noticed in our driver's conversation, and I
did not dare to smile when '* paralyzed " road was spoken
of, or ^ calvary " for cavalry. Many of the streets are very
steep, and up on the summit of Libby Hill a park is being
laid out that promises well for the people as a breathing
place, if they don't lose their breath in getting up to it.
We went on to " Church Hill," the top of which commands
a charming view.
There are fine public buildings, private residences, and
rare sculpture in Richmond, though sidewalks are limited.
The Medical Institute is of the Egyptian style of archi-
tecture, and very imposing. On the principal streets are
the residences of the wealthy before the war, but now the
occupancy has materially changed. We went into the
Capitol grounds and saw the superb equestrian statue of
Washington, so much admired, surrounded by statues of
Virginia statesmen : Patrick Henry, Lewis, Mason, Mar-
shall, Jefferson, Nelson. That of Henry Clay, a Vir-
ginian by birth, is by itself. Stonewall Jackson's statue
has also been placed in these grounds. We visited the
Capitol, and heard the ** senator from Middlesex," Mr.
Blain, speak upon the state tax bill. The House was also in
session and we saw the congregated wisdom of the state at
work. Such bodies are pretty much the same everywhere.
The state library contains many articles of great interest.
These comprise many revolutionary relics, and the late
war supplies a far larger number, Virginia battle flags
and the Confederate seal being conspicuous. Portraits of
distinguished statesmen from the North figure with those
of elsewhere. Jeff Davis and General Stuart were promi-
nent, and a bust of Stonewall Jackson graced the collec-
tion. Among the ancient relics were letters from Wash-
ington, when he was twelve years old, and a letter he
wrote but two weeks before his death. The Capitol itself
is a very fine building.
Queer sights and sounds beset one at every turn in
Richmond — queer to the stranger, who contrasts every-
thing with what he has left behind him. ''Worm snacks
at all hours " attracts the epicure. The wagons are queer,
with their canvas tops and funny looking darkey drivers,
the mules in keeping with the rest of the turnout ; but the
canvas backs (ducks) one meets with here belong to a
different sort of ''waggin'" — that of the maxillary pro-
cess — from which the darkey is omitted. There is a
sense of insecurity in the best of the public carriages, and
one feels, when riding, as if the bottom must speedily drop
out, and if to walk one is inclined, he is followed by two
or three darkies desirous of carrying something for him,
if he has only a cane in sight.
The Ballard & Exchange, where we were staying, was
a very fair house, though not up to the Northern standard,
and was well patronized. Among the guests I observed a
little man whom I recalled as one I had seen in the Senate
chamber. He was a smart little man, but he was prone to
indulge too much in stimulants. On the Sunday morning
of our stay, I was going down to the office when I met
him, and he was tending the same way, but, I judged, for
a different object. He was very polite, and, taking my
arm, he said, '* We will walk down together." I told him
I was obliged to wait there for some of my party — a " get
off," I confess. I saw he was a little " under the weather,"
and immediately I heard a darkey laugh. I walked along
the passage and asked the grinning Anthracite what he
was laughing at. "Why, sar," said he, "dat gemman
wanted you to help him down stair. He axes me to some-
times, and when I says to him 'Whar's yer servant?' he
says to me, ' I discharge him, 'cause it won't do to hab two
drunken men at de same time to look arter each oder.'
Yah, yah, yah."
I called on Mr. Warren Curtis, an old Andover friend,
who was an apprentice with Smith & Dove forty years
ago. He has lived in Richmond more than thirty years,
and was burnt out during the war, but has since rebuilt.
It was a mutual pleasure to meet after the long separation.
Attending an African church at Richmond was quite an
event, and our party fully appreciated it. There are dark
preachers who come North, sometimes, but they come as
missionaries, and are men of education, with no color of
difference between themselves and their pale-faced breth-
ren except the cuticle. But here was a genuine " African "
preacher, though born in Virginia, with all the peculiari-
ties of his class, and he was at his best. The church is
the first colored society established in Richmond, and now
numbers some three thousand members. They have a
very large place of worship, and there is a good attend-
ance, the congregation varying in complexion from light
cream color to coal black. They are very attentive to
strangers, as we experienced. The preacher. Rev. Mr.
Holmes, gave, as his text, " Meditate on these things ; "
and he dwelt upon his subject with great impressiveness, at
times vehemently, moving his customary hearers as only
that class of negro can be moved.
"Bredren and sisters," said he, "what am meditation?
ni tell you what meditation am. When you hev got knowl-
edge of the spirit of God, then your soul feeds upon it, and
dis am meditation. You must all come to de church, and
get good, and den you can go to heben and meditate dar.
You can't meditate properly at home, 'cept you hev been
to de house ob de Lawd, 'cause you 'gage in secular
work. Why, my brudders and sisters, your pastor was
mortified when he was coming to church dis yer morning.
I saw a brudder carryin* home a bunch of fish ! Now he
ought to hev been going to church, an* his chilVen to de
Sunday School ; an' his wife can't come cos she's got to
clean dem fish for his breakfast. My sisters and brudders,
meditate on dese tings. Many stay from de church becos
dey's lazy, and don't want to come. De Lawd won't bless
you if you stay at home. Now if you want de Lawd's bless-
ing you must come to de church. You may fool some
of de people, but you can't fool de Lawd. My bredren,
meditate on dese tings. Sometimes, my bredren, you
meet some one you know upon de street, and he don't see
you. Den you tink, mebbe, dat he means ter cut yer.
But, my bredren, he may be lookin' higher dan de grub-
bing tings ob dis world, and his mind away up among de
clouds, ameditatin', yes, ameditatin' on de blessed Lawd,
an' such like tings. But, my bredren, if you see a man
dodging round de street corner, cos he don't want ter see
you, dat am anoder ting. My bredren, meditate on dese
When, reading the Bible lesson, he came to the text,
"Bodily exercise profiteth nothing," he thus explained it:
"Now bredren, dat means dat jumping Christians ar ob no
'count. Dey jump deir religion all out ob dem in dis
world and hab nothing left for de next," The singing
In the evening we went again to the same church, and
heard another preacher, in a very good sermon, but lack-
ing the native vim of that in the morning. At its close Mr.
Holmes took the floor :
''Belubbed Bredren and Sisters," he said, "we want to
hab a registration ob all de members of dis yer church.
Dere are between two and free thousand, and de records
am all lost. Now we are goin' to commence on Monday
mornin' wid de names, an' I want you all to follow each
other as fast as you can an' get through dis work ob de
Lawd's people, an' when you put your name down on de
enrolment list, I want you all to bring twenty-five cents
'cause yer know dat we hab got a great work to do, an*
de church ain't done finished yet. So you must all come
prepared to gib twenty-five cents when yer put yer name
down. Some ob de members say to your beloved preacher,
de odder day, dat it won't do to ax dem for twenty-five
cents. If yer do, dey say, you cut loose some ob yer best
members. But, belubbed brudders an' sisters, if twenty-
five cents is goin' to keep de members from de blessed
Lawd, den dem's de kind who don't want Jesus, and de
kind we want to go. We don't want nuffin' to do wid 'em."
Next day (Monday) we left Richmond for Atlanta,
Ga., and had a Pullman sleeper all to ourselves. We had
plenty of room to "lie around loose" in all day, passing
through Greensboro' and Charlotte. We stopped at the
latter place for supper, but C. said he guessed he wouldn't
eat anything hearty, and would be satisfied with a Char-
lotte Russe. Upon this a feminine member of the party,
who felt like retiring, said : '' I guess I'll take a Charlotte
Roast," which was not amiss, considering the high temper-
ature of the car. The car was a drawing room by day
and a sleeper by night, and as we had it all to ourselves,
with one Porter to four of us, we got along about as we
pleased. It was startling, somewhere near midnight at a
momentary stopping place, to hear a voice obtrude upon
our stillness shouting, "Are there any drummers on to-
night?" I think that some drummer had gone over the
road wheedling Southern credulity, and some of his vic-
tims, of whom this energetic inquirer was a committee
of one, were lying in wait for his return. The question
was novel, certainly, under the circumstances.
We arrived at Atlanta, Ga., in the morning, but made
a short stay there, improving our opportunity, however, to
visit the Atlanta Colored College of which Rev. Dr.
Bumstead is principal assisted by Messrs. Ware and
Fuller. The college has two hundred students, of whom
good report is made. The inexhaustible black driver
with his customary characteristics is here a prime neces-
sity, for Atlanta, though "large and respectable," like a
rural caucus, is muddy.
We left, at 2.05 p.m., for Macon, Ga., riding by a
peach orchard of four hundred acres, but with little pre-
senting itself worthy of note. We could not but observe
the apparent absence of industry and thrift that leaves this
glorious country in a condition almost barbaric and the
architecture in such marked contrast with that of the
North. Many scenes reminded us of the now defunct
" system ; " patriarchal mansions embowered in trees and
the shabby negro huts surrounding them forcibly em-
phasized the disparity between the classes who now dwell
here on terms of political equality, the " nigger's " vote
now as good as his old **massa's."
We made a brief stop at Macon, spending the night at
the Brown's Hotel, — Brown the standard color here, —
and left at 7.30 next morning for Brunswick. The quaint
negro huts had at least three at every outlook who showed
remarkable interest in what was going on as the cars
moved by. A newsboy came in with papers. '^Hab a
paper, sar,"he said to George. ** No," replied George, **!
can't read." '' Can't read 1 " yelled the darkey ; *• I bet yer
ken. I know by yer looks dat you'se all ken." This was
a compliment to intelligent looks, the moral of which is
that everybody should try to look intelligent, if he isn't.
At Macon the waiters were not particularly clean, for
which one was taxed by a member of our party. ''No,
sar," said he, "zactly so, sar; but dis isn't our year to
wash, sar." He must have meant it, though the rascal
Between Macon and Brunswick every point was of
especial interest to me, revealing vast improvement since
my visit here in 1853, when, as a young man, I performed
such an important business part. Then the country was lit-
erally wild and covered with scarcely anything but timber.
As we passed along, the hand of improvement was distin-
guished everywhere, although a devastating war had seri-
ously retarded enterprise. The old feeling of depression
that then prevailed had lifted, and a bright aspect rested
upon everything, which I was glad to see, it was in such
marked contrast with the former state of things. Lumber
and turpentine seemed to make the prevailing business
along the route, and there were excellent facilities for
transportation to the coast, where shipments were made to
foreign ports, with Brunswick the port of clearance.
Nearing Brunswick, we passed the junction where the
Savannah & Jacksonville road crosses at Jessup, and
soon arrived upon the scene of my former experience
twenty-five years before. We took quarters with Mr.
Moore, the hotel where I previously stopped having been
burned down during the war through the recklessness of
Confederate pickets who occupied it.
After tea on the day of our arrival, George and I went
out to make calls and see the place. I had, while going
from the railroad station to our resting places, noted many
changes in the condition of things. Everything was
strange to me except the " lay of the land," and I failed to
see any familiar object. In company with George I made
further explorations. I endeavored to locate the old
wharf where the Agnes discharged her cargo ; half of it
she ''carried away" at the time, and the remainder had
since followed, as no trace of it was to be found ; nor was
there a single thing left to show that a ship ever lay there.
How the clink of that iron came up in my memory ! The
place was covered over with buildings connected with the
railroad running to Albany. The spot where I neatly
piled up the iron and fenced it in to preserve it against
the ravenous appetite of the town pigs was also occupied
by a building belonging to the railroad. The old time
marks were entirely obliterated. I thought, when the
wharf was built, that perhaps shipping would be attracted
to that spot and extend along the shore near by, but I
found that all the wharves and shipping were carried be-
low to a new spot altogether. There was, I found, a
marked contrast between the shipping of to-day and that
of twenty-five years before. Now ships, barks, brigs,
schooners, and smaller craft gave a decidedly marine
aspect to the place, with new structures erected for busi-
ness accommodations, which argued a healthy advance in
commercial enterprise. Great improvements had also
been made in the town. Buildings of every kind had
been erected on the old streets and the new streets were
becoming rapidly occupied, to accommodate an increasing
population, that, from a few hundred when I was in
Brunswick before, had grown to upwards of three thou-
sand, to which every day was adding. Hardly enough v/ .jjgfj
growth, however, to warrant the original hope that some
day Brunswick would rival Savannah. But who can tell
what fate holds in reserve? Two railroads and a fine
harbor are excellent bases to build upon, and active enter-
prise may overcome all minor diflSculties. My opinion
regarding the real progress of Brunswick is, that if a new
hotel were built, worthy of the place, it would be an indi-
cation of revived hope and confidence and give assurance
of stability. Some years ago Mr. Hezekiah Plummer of
Lawrence, Mass., built a large hotel here, which was
burned down, as well as the one where I stopped in 1853,
and that neither of them has been replaced is not credit-
able to the town.
The next morning after our walk I called upon some of
the people of the place whom I had known during my
previous sojourn. I found Mrs. Brooks still living with
her only remaining daughter (the eldest) in the same
house where I had so often visited in former days, Mr.
Brooks and her other daughters having died in the mean
time. I next sought out Mr. Friedlander, my former
friend at the hotel. He was out when I called at his
store, but I was received cordially by his partner, Mr.
Anderson, who, after recognition, recalled the circum-
stances of my being there with Captain Scott so many
*¥ years previous. When Mr. F. made his appearance I saw
/ . in him the same tall shrewd-looking Dutchman that I had
known twenty-five years before, upon whose frame and
countenance time had wrought little change. He could
not at first place me, but said I was a " shentleman " he
had certainly seen somewhere, but where he could not
say. Thus puzzled, he seemed very anxious to get at the
explanation of my familiarity with him and my general
knowledge of the town. After collecting himself and
straining his memory, he recalled my identity and was
very glad to see me.
**Vell, Schmidty," said he, **I vas glat to zee you.
Veil, veil, the Lord has peen kind mit you. Shtand up
and led me hav von goot look mit you. Veil, veil, you
pe not much more as dall as you used to vas, put you ish
proader dis way," — drawing his hand across his breast ;
**Dwenty-fife year ish von long dime mit a man's life.
How vas Captain Scodd? He ish alife den? Veil, he
vas a goot man. Oh, yaw, I regollect mit me de goot ship
Agnesy mit de gargo of iron. You remember we poarded
mit de hodel togedder. Veil, dat hodel vas gone — purnt
mit the groundt off py some sogers what puilt a fire and
forgod dem to put it out. You recollect Mr. Vood, de
landlord? Veil, he was kilt py von of his pest vriends.
Charley Moore vos de man vot did de teed. You remem-
ber him? He vos a leedle schapp vos goom to de hodel
breddy often, mit a slouch hat von site of his head. He
vas trunk ven he shot Mr. Vood. Veil, Schmidty, ve haf
had a pig war since you vas hereapouts, and I shust had
to shut mine shop and skedadle to de goundry ourt.
Our soger poys got dired mit noding to do, so dey vired
some shot into de gunpoads mit de harbor, and de gun-
poads shust redurned de gombliment, bretty quick, too.
While I vos sit in mine own house apout, dar vas one rot-
ten shot, as de negro said, game down indo mine kitchen
and bust tings. I thought, sure, de tyfel had gome. Veil,
dem vas hard dimes and no mistake. H'm I dwendy-
fife year since you vas hereapouts I I vonter vhere ve vill
pe dwendy-fife year do gome. And tid you hear about
my preaging mine thigh in New York cidy? Yas, I veil .
mit de izy bavements and I zued dat cidy for dirty dousant
toUars, vich I peat dem ; put I don't get no dirty dousant
tollars. Only got dree dousant tollars. Dat vos all I get.
Veil, Schmidty, haf you zeen any of de old beobels? Dere
is some you know vot is lifing. You remember old Scran- --^
ton, de bostmasder? Veil, he vas shtill alife."
**And old Josh Berry," said I, breaking in upon my
voluble old friend; "what of him?" Josh was the old
black Berry of the Agnes days, who gave us great amuse-
"Yas," continued Mr. F.,"Josh Berry vas alife, doo. He
vorks ofer mit von of the islands. I saw him apout a
vortnight ago, and he's shust de zame old gomigal bow-
legged cuss he vas dwendy-fife year ago. But have you
zeen Mr. Bourke? Here, Shonny, run ofer to Mr.
Bourke's, and dell him to gome here right away quick.
Dhere is a shentleman in my zdore vould like to zee him."
Mr. Bourke soon entered the store and my German
friend, pointing to me, said, —
^ Mr. Bourke, shust you but your eye on that shentleman,
and dell me if you efer zeen him before."
''I think I have," replied Mr. Bourke, eyeing me closely.
''Veil, vere?" said Mr. F.
''I think his name is Smith," responded Mr. Bourke,
'* and that he was here with Captain Scott some twenty-
five years ago."
"Veil, veil," said my German friend, "you peats me all
ourt. I knew his vace, put I gouldn't gall him py name."
"Mr. Smith," said Bourke, "I wish you would leave as
good a job for me this time as you did then. I watched
that iron as deputy collector fourteen months, at three
dollars per day, and at the end of that time it was all light-
ered around to Savannah by schooners. I have the mem-
orandum of the first money you paid me for labor when
^discharging. It was twenty-one dollars for seven days
labor, and I saw it recently when looking over some old
The interview with these gentlemen was very pleasant,
and I enjoyed it hugely.
"Schmidty," said Mr. Friedlander, "I regollect me a
goot shoke you got off ven Mr. Mabray mate you puild dat
vence rount mit the iron after it vas landed. You said you
tidn't zee the need of any prodection, unless it vas to keep
the hungry bigs of Prunsvick from eading it up, and if it
had peen big" iron the bigs would haf eaten it long ago.
Yaw, dat vas the best shoke of the dimes."
During the interview with these gentlemen many old
scenes and associations were recalled that brought back the
past very vividly. Many had departed on the long journey
who had made my sojourn pleasant in the former time,
and the hour of our communion was replete with the deep-
est interest. I regretted, exceedingly, that I could not
make a longer stay in Brunswick, but I was compelled to
"move on," as if a London policeman were urging his
command, and we took our departure.
February 21 we left for Fernandina, Fla., on the
steamer Florence^ at 4 p.m. We passed through the
Brunswick ship channel, along the whole length of Jekyl
Island, and saw St. Simon's Light. There were plenty of
oysters lying along the sides of the creeks and wild ducks
feeding upon adjacent marshes, enough to excite the long-
ings of sportsmen or epicures. We caught occasional
glimpses of a peculiar breed of wild horses to add to our
equine information, but the boat would not tarry to admit
of closer examination. They were to be found only in
these localities. To the purser of the boat we were in-
debted for much entertaining description of the scenes we
passed through. It is a most agreeable thing to meet, on a
journey like ours through a strange country, a gentleman
so kindly communicative, and we duly appreciated his at-
tentions. We passed through St. Andrew's sound and
along by Cumberland Island, seeing innumerable flocks of
ducks and other waterfowl as we went along. We took
supper on board the boat, and, with nothing happening of
further interest, arrived at Fernandina, a quaint old place
upon the coast. We took quarters at the Egmont House,
a new and elegant structure, built the previous season
and opened July i, 1877. In front of the hotel is a
garden fenced with palmetto and orange trees, which, in
luxuriant foliage, were in strange contrast with the North-
ern trees we had but just left. It takes some time to ac-
custom a Northerner to this change, which, however, is
very agreeable. Here we celebrated Washington's birth-
day with appropriate honors.
The Florida darkey embodies the general peculiarities
of his race, and has certain special characteristics of his
own, which together form a whole that must be seen to be
appreciated. In their churches, which we attended, they
are much like their more Northerly brethren, but their devo-
tion, though unique and in some respects ludicrous, is so
evidently sincere that it commands respect even while it
amuses. They are a lazy, happy set. One of the bright-
est of our party remarked that this indolence was the re-
sult of reaction; they had worked so hard while slaves
that they could do nothing but rest now. One of them
gave an amusing account of his treatment of yellow fever
in reply to an inquiry of one of our ladies regarding that
"Well," said he, ''missus, when I feel de misery come
— der pains, yer know, in de head and in de back — den
I knowed somefin' mus' be done. Dere's nuffin' like
lemons for yaller feber, but I couldn't get no lemons. So
I takes der lemon leabs and steeps dem, and den I rubs
myself all ober wid der wash. Den I takes snake root
and makes er tea, and den I drinks dat and dat makes de
appetite. / didn't have no doctor. Ps my own doctor.
Doctors donno how to treat yaller feber. Dey give de
patient ice. But, missus, ef you eber hab de yaller feber,
don't you neber take ice 'cause ef yer do you freeze yer
libber and yer die shu."
We visited the school for colored boys and girls during
its session, and were much gratified with the appearance
of the scholars' proficiency. It is under the charge of Mr.
and Mrs. D. K. Ballard, and bears evidence of painstak-
ing care on the part of the teachers. We heard the classes
in their several exercises, and a brighter school it would
be hard to find anywhere. Their reading and spelling
were especially good, and we were allowed to hear them
sing, which they did with real credit to themselves. I
brought away with me the autograph of Master Joseph R.
Howard, a boy of ten years, that astonished me by its
excellence. It was rapidly written, but the letters were
connected and evenly formed, and many an expert in
penmanship would fail to produce anything much better.
I could scarcely have credited the possibility of the thing
had it not been done right before my eyes.
We enjoyed a pleasant ride along the beach, for two
or three miles and gathered shells for mementos. The
beach is some twenty miles long and the bland air and
the sea render a ride over it very delightful. Returning,
we made a circuit of the old town, which we found ex-
ceedingly picturesque. Ending a very pleasant day with
a supper at 6.30, we left by rail at 8 p.m. for Jackson-
We arrived at Jacksonville at 1.30 a.m., the last part of
the road being very "hubbly." A country editor thus
speaks of this road : " It has three receivers : one to receive
for the bondholders, Mr. Day (the superintendent) who
receives all the money, and the ditch which receives the
trains." Hard, but may have a share of truth in it. We
enlivened the way among ourselves by a quartette of pleas-
antries, with no growls of discontent, thankful that we
had escaped the last-named receiver.
On arriving at Jacksonville we had our baggage checked
for the St. James Hotel, and inquired for the " close car-
riage " which, by prearrangement, we had ordered for our
personal conveyance. At the station the vehicle was
awaiting us, and we were at once piloted to it. It was a
'* close carriage," indeed ! All had to sit closCy the air was
closcy and the remarks made were close upon the style of
objurgation which the irreverent sometimes make ; but for-
tunately the hotel was close at hand, and upon reaching it,
the ladies vowed, as ladies do, that never would they put
foot in a "close carriage" again. But the sequel showed
how liable people are to forget. When we stopped at
Palatka, subsequently, it was raining, and the hotel porter
who was on hand at the steamer took some of our traps,
and said, "The ladies can ride, it will cost them nothing."
So on they went, not dreaming of what awaited them.
On arriving at the carriage, forgetting for the moment
their former determination, in they got, only to find them-
selves in a close carriage of the former pattern ! I saw
what was impending and could hardly keep my counte-
nance until they were fairly in. It was too good an op-
portunity to lose and I shouted, " Close carriage for
ladies to the St. James ! "
The rain continued all night after our arrival at Jack-
sonville, and in the morning we banished hope of being
able to do anything during the day ; but along in the fore-
noon the weather cleared up, and we went out for a walk.
A beautiful garden extended along the front of the hotel,
as at Fernandina, which gave a very pleasant aspect to
the scene. It contained many fine orange trees laden
with the most delicious looking fruit. We went down
upon the business streets and visited several curiosity
shops, where principal among the temptations to buy were
alligators' teeth made into a large number of forms, shoe-
buckles, whistles, scarf pins, etc., some of which we pur-
chased. " Greenleaf s Jewelry Store " is a famous place
of resort for visitors. Here we found quite a zoological
garden in the rear, bears, alligators, wildcats, and other
•* varmint," comprising the collection. Some specimens
of alligator teeth were shown us that were very beautiful,
and from the obliging proprietor we learned much about
Florida grasses and other ornamental products of the
country concerning which Northern ladies are greatly
Next day being Sunday, we attended church and heard
a sermon by Rev. Solon Cobb from the North, whom we
had met at the hotel. In the evening we went to a colored
church and heard a black preacher discourse on the sub-
ject of the wise and foolish virgins. He was very quaint
in his illustrations and made no such mistake as the white
preacher who, in speaking upon the same subject, said that
there were ten virgins, five of whom were males and five
females. After the sermon, a notice was read stating that
money was wanted for church purposes, and the colored
preacher descanted upon it. The dialect must be im-
"Now brethren,'' said he, "we want money — money to
finish our church — and I ask you to give us fifty dollars.
You are all able to do, and it won't hurt you a bit. You
have got plenty of money, so give us fifty dollars, and
we'll fix up the gallery and put in seats and not have any
one stand up any more. If you can't give us just ' zaxly '
fifty dollars, why, give us twenty-five."
The collection was taken up, and the result showed but
eight dollars, and the preacher, peeping over the pulpit
where the deacons were counting the money, said, —
"Now brethren, I am disappointed. I had a 'putty'
spiritual song that I was going to sing if you had given
fifty dollars, but I can't sing for only eight dollars."
The amount collected was handed to him, and he con-
"I'm glad you have given that, but it isn't quite enough
for you to get the ' putty ' spiritual song. I hope the Lord
will bless you for what you have given, but if you want to
go to the New Jerusa/«/w, you ought to make it up to fifty
After this, a few commenced to sing, accompanied by a
sort of dance the solemnity of which could only be seen
by the performers themselves. This church was called
the St. James Theatre.
Next day, at 1.30 p.m., we took the the steamer Sappho
for Tocei, where we embarked on the train for St. Augus-
tine, arriving February 25 . This city is one of special in-
terest to the historian, it being the first permanent settle-
ment that was established on this continent, the founda-
tions of which were laid by the Spaniards in 1565. The
French Huguenots had tried to possess it, but Melendez,
under direction of the Emperor of Spain, drove them from
the soil with terrible cruelty, and it became the scene of
violence and bloodshed which continued for many years.
Early on the morning after our arrival we went out to see
the old town and first visited the meat and fish market.
At the latter were mullet, drum, sea bass, and other varie-
ties, not abundant, but looking fresh and nice. I found
the fishermen very communicative regarding the manner
of taking fish in Southern waters, in some respects differ-
ent from our modes at the North. There is a sea-wall,
and the main town is separated from the beach by a road,
so that the beach is inaccessible by land. The streets are
very narrow, and the sharp curves remind one of Marble-
head or some of our oldest towns whose streets, it is said,
follow the tracks the cows made when going for water.
Curiosity shops abounded, where the customary Southern
varieties of traflSc could be had — alligators' teeth (wrought
into many forms), stuffed alligators and birds, elegant
shells, orange-tree canes, etc. These find a ready pur-
chase by Northerners. The buildings are low and of a
peculiar architecture, made of a material formed of sea-
shells, and called ** coquina." It is found on the shore and
proves a very excellent building material, but, unlike natu-
ral stone, it crumbles with time though otherwise tolerably
durable. A great many houses of St. Augustine are built
of it. Mr. Ball, of the firm of Ball, Black & Company,
New York, has a fine residence here. We called at the
house, which sits in the midst of fine grounds shaded by
luxuriant trees and is approached by a broad avenue from
the main street beneath an arch of orange trees. These
trees had grown into a thick hedge at least 20 to 25 feet
in height and were loaded down with fruit. This arched
avenue leads to a circular inner enclosure. On the oppo-
site side of the circle is another arched passageway, and
paths diverge from the centre through the orange grove
We continued our walk to the adjacent mansion of a Mr.
Anderson, where we were much interested in seeing the
process of preparing oranges for the market. Men and
boys were busily engaged in handling the fruit, which, as
soon as gathered, is put into a room on a sort of rack pre-
pared for the purpose, where, after it has lain for two or
three days, it is sorted over, papered, and graded. We
went through the grove and picked from the trees the most
delicious oranges we had ever eaten. Oranges eaten upon
the spot seem to have a better flavor. This was a particu-
larly pleasant episode, and formed a red-letter item in our
pilgrimage. We could hardly realize that but three or four
days' travel separated us, amid scenes of tropical luxu-
riance, from the ice and snow of wintry New England.
Truly this is a fast age !
The beach we did not visit, nor the lighthouse, as the
weather was somewhat disagreeable. It rained during the
forenoon, which limited somewhat our explorations, but we
made a good record. Returning, via the Square, we saw
the monument, the old cathedral, and St. Augustine Hotel ;
and going round among the curiosity shops along by the
sea, we made purchases to take home, among which were
two alligators^ that were placed in boxes and christened
''Helen's Babies" by the jocular vender. We accepted
the name, and they came along with us under that title.
In the afternoon we set out again, bent upon sight-see-
ing. We passed through St. George street, so narrow
that a Northern load of hay would find it a ^ tight fit " in
navigating it. We went to the old city gates, the old co-
quina pillars and sentry-box still standing in good state of
preservation. In old times the city was undoubtedly
walled all around for protection against enemies, for then
strong walls were a necessity. We visited the old Fort
Marion, a grand and well-planned fortress, encircled by a
moat, and we went through its various winding and intri-
cate recesses. There were about lOO Indians of two or
three different tribes from out West confined here at the
time of our visit. They were very docile, then, but when
first sent there they were very wild. Two or three of them
caught a cow and, taking her into a fort, butchered her and
ate her flesh raw and drank her blood. They employ
themselves by making bows and arrows, and for amuse-
ment draw quaint pictures of buffalo and antelope hunts,
pitch bean bags, and play other games. They have a
room 200 by 40 feet, and each one is allowed a space
where his bunk stands. In the daytime the bedclothes and
mattresses are rolled up and fastened to the head of the
bunk, leaving the room thus gained for a seat. These
bunks are arranged on both sides of the room, and a large
stove for cold weather occupies the middle space. In this
fort no dungeons were supposed to exist, save one that was
accessible to all, but in 1846 a little settling was noticed
where heavy cannon had been moved, and investigation
disclosed a large dungeon and a human skeleton hidden
away within it. It being perceived that the stones com-
posing the sides of the wall were different from the rest,
these stones were removed and another dungeon discov-
ered with passages leading to the end walls, in which
were found two iron cages containing human bones, sup-
posed to be the remains of some distinguished Spaniard
who was left to die here for political offences. The Span-
iards were a cruel people when the old fort was built. In
the fort are casemates all around, one of which, we noticed,
had been used as a chapel, as the little marks on the wall
where the candles were placed still remain. We were
shown the casemate where Osceola, the chief of the Semi-
noles, was confined, but from which he made his escape.
The old ordnance sergeant in charge of the fort told the
story with great gusto.
Our stay at St. Augustine was necessarily brief, but the
time was well improved. We left February 2*]yper rail to
Tocei, over a road that has no equal on this continent for
eccentricity of make and management. It was originally
a horse railroad, and now that it had reached the dignity
of steam, its cars were of two or three different patterns,
for passage in which a charge of 14 cents per mile was
levied. The road was owned by William B. Astor, and he
must have been relying upon its receipts as his principal
source of income. We reached Tocei without accident
or adventure, and embarked upon the Sappho for a trip
up the St. John's river to Palatka. The St. John's is a pleas-
ant, but dull and monotonous stream, seeming to be op-
pressed with the inertia that characterizes Southern life, and
not choosing to hurry any. There are broad stretches
here and there that widen into the importance of small
lakes, and along its low shores are vast expanses of wild
growths that seem to spring directly from the water.
There are sunny little coves that occasionally appear, and
settlements and solitary houses that show human habita-
tion, and these relieve the sameness ; but the river is alto-
gether unlike the blue streams of the North and seems
fitted to be the home of the alligator and malaria.
We arrived at Palatka on the 28th, at 7.30 p.m., under
dampening circumstances described elsewhere, but a " close
carriage " took our party to the Putnam House, a new hotel
built a few years previously. Palatka is the principal town
upon the river, and growing rapidly. The rain prevented
our going out, and in the morning we left by the little
steamer Pastime for a trip up the river. We ran past nu-
merous fishermen with their nets set for shad and their
little boat landings where they took care of their fish scat-
tered along at intervals of a mile or so. At one landing,
orange packing for market was going on, the colored
brother owning many trees along the river. There were
some grand islands that we passed ; of these was Drayton
Island (Calhoun's orange plantation), with a hotel upon it,
and Hibernia, a real gem of the see. There were a few
houses on this, one of which was especially pleasant, with
a beautiful green lawn that descended to the water's edge.
Mrs. Stowe's plantation (Mandarin) was pointed out, but
" Uncle Tom's Cabin " did not appear in the scene.
We were on the lookout for alligators, and the scarcity
of these amphibia vexed us. One boy on board the Pas-
time said he saw one about six feet long, and that boy at
once achieved a character. Not an alligator did we see
between Palatka and Sanford, and that boy who alleged
that he saw one people began to regard as a fabulous
We arrived at Sanford at 7.30 and went directly to the
Sanford House, which we found to be well kept by Mr.
Winslow, the manager, to whom we had letters of intro-
duction. Sanford was not much of a place in itself. It
had two piers, a few buildings and stores, and that was
about all, with the hotel. It is situated on one of the lakes
formed by the widening of the river, and if there is not
much enterprise in the town, the town of Enterprise on
the other bank stands ready to urge it on by wholesome
emulation. They are both said to be good places for in-
valids, and many sportsmen come there. We merely
spent the night at Sanford, and returned next day on the
Pastime to Palatka.
The day was most beautiful, and again alligators were
our quest. We closely watched the banks in hope of see-
ing some of them basking in the sun. We crossed Lake
Monroe, another widening of the river, that we were told
abounded with fish and plenty of game, but not an alliga-
tor had we seen. We were told that bears and deer fre-
quented the woods upon the shore, and the day before we
had dined upon wild turkey on the boat, but what was all
this to us when our minds craved sight of the festive alli-
A great shout was heard : " Oh, there's an alligator ! "
and every one, in an instant, was on foot to take the alli-
gator in hand, or at least to get a glimpse of it, when, to
everybody's disgust, it proved to be a log — " blind alliga-
tors," they are called. It was a satisfaction to cast it in
the teeth of the St. John's that more alligators were to be
seen in the Boston Museum than on the biggest river in
Florida. About 11.30 all were on the bow of the steamer
eager to get the first sight of an alligator. Several pre-
tended to have seen one, but no one else took stock in the as-
sertion, when presently there arose another cry : *' There's
one I " '' Where, where ? " was the response. '' Why,
don't you see him on that log ? " All eyes were turned
towards the spot indicated, and there, sure enough, stretched
upon a log, was his alligatorship, as if asleep in the pleas-
ant sunshine. In a moment the crack of a rifle was heard,
and the monster rolled off the log, but not without feeling
the effect of the shot which struck him on the tail, wound-
ing that caudal adornment, but not affecting him vitally. I
was in the pilot house at noon, and the pilot told me to look
sharp along the shores at a certain point, and I should
probably see one. I thus acted, and, as he had said, there
almost instantly appeared a large one on the bank, seem-
ing to be looking at us very complacently, as if he were
trying to comprehend what we were. We had a good
long look at him, when a rifle ball was despatched at him,
but he was too quick for it and plunged into the water
with a great splash a second before the ball reached him.
Our way down from Orange Bluff was a panorama of
cypress trees hung with moss and mistletoe, palmetto trees,
stump snags, alligators (of which we saw quite a num-
ber), and all the concomitants of Southern scetiery, never
tedious, though monotonous, enlivened by pleasant asso-
ciation and agreeable conversation on the Pastime^ re-
garding which one feminine of our party had said that
one "pastime "was in "looking for alligators." Shot fol-
lowed shot as the hideous monsters appeared, but with what
result was not known, as they did not stay to report dam-
I made a number of striking drawings of scenes between
Sanford and Palatka, which, though not illustrative of the
highest development in art, give a graphic view of locali-
ties that will be great aids to memory in after time. They
are preserved in my notebooks. And a-profos of pictures,
at the Putnam House in Palatka a lady sent one of the
waiters for the stereoscope and photographs, and he asked
for the ** telescope and photograms."
We arrived at Palatka at 6.30 p.m. and by a unanimous
vote decided that we had had a very pleasant time and
voted the weather delicious. We took quarters for the
night at the Putnam House, an excellent hotel, kept by
Vermont people. After breakfast next morning, I took
a row on the river to try my hand at trolling for fish in
Southern waters, but the wind was so high and raised so
rough a swell that I had no luck. While I was on this
piscatory mission the rest of our party visited Hart's orange
grove, and were there at the landing to meet me on my
At 3.30 P.M. we embarked on the steamer Hampton
for Green Cove Springs, nothing of importance transpiring
during the voyage. We arrived at 6 o'clock, designing
to stay over Sunday which was next day. We realized
that greatest pleasure in life to absentees, the receipt of
letters from home, worth going away from home to enjoy.
How precious a familiar hand seems at such time I
It rained hard during the night, but the succeeding day
promised well, and I was up bright and early to enjoy it.
Green Cove is a popular resort for invalids, of whom quite
a number were at the hotel. I went down to take a look
at the spring and taste the water, which is discharged at the
rate of 3000 gallons per minute. The weather continued
fine (the thermometer registering 75 degrees), and after
dinner we all took a stroll down to the river and along its
banks. There is a beautiful path leading to Magnolia,
distant one and a half miles, and the surrounding scenery
is very fine. The trees are draped with moss and exceed-
ingly picturesque. In the evening we enjoyed some good
singing in the parlor.
Monday morning, March 4, we bade good-bye to Green
Cove, and took the steamer Saffho for Jacksonville. It
was quite cool, the mercury having fallen 12 degrees
in about as many hours. We arrived at 2.30 p.m., and
immediately went to the St. James hotel, where excellent
rooms awaited us. After dinner we went out in search of
curiosities. Bay street being the main locality for such
trade, and Pelton's store the most frequented. This store
is an antique of the rarest character, and the proprietor
himself seems like some fossil that has returned to life.
We found preparations for a church fair in progress, which
showed that Northern customs were obtaining a foothold at
the South ; showing, also, that fairs and fashions may be-
come important factors in promoting unity between North-
ern and Southern ladies.
Next morning we took a row boat and went up the
river about three miles to the splendid residence of Mrs.
Mitchell, whose spacious garden and orange grove have a
wide reputation. On landing at the grounds, visitors are
required to record their names. Upon entering the gar-
den, directly in front of the entrance, and some hundred
feet beyond, was the house, or cottage, with a piazza
all around it and balconies, pretty well up from the
ground, with lattice work underneath. The garden is
laid out in walks, with a fountain in the centre. The
orange grove is upon the left and right of the garden and
in the rear. In the rear, also, is a long covered walk
designed for grapes. On the bank of the river and just
inside the enclosure are large trees hung with moss. This
moss is the favorite decorative design of nature at the
South, and here it was displayed to fine advantage. One
large tree had seats in it and costly arrangements for a
party to occupy the elevated premises. Pedestals, or
altars, we observed, were distributed around the grounds,
with receivers for pitchpine to be fired on occasions in
the evening, and shed light on the scene. This plan of
torch-light is quite common up and down the river, and
one such illumination we had the pleasure of witnessing.
I spent a whole day in exploring Arlington creek, start-
ing at 9 o'clock with a darkey boy to row me. Arlington
creek is down the river about four miles on the opposite
side from Jacksonville. On entering the creek I began to
troll, but with little success at first. The water looked all
right, and we started out from the coves some fine large
trout, but from some cause or other they would not strike.
Pursuing our course up, skilfully playing my line and
wondering whether I should encounter a hungry trout or
a black bass, I was suddenly awakened from my dreamy
doubt by the consciousness that something of an animated
nature was tugging away at the other end of my line.
Whatever it was I handled it carefully, and in a few
moments a fine black bass, of some three pounds* weight,
was floundering in the bottom of the boat. So much to
begin with. The sun was pretty hot and the water glassy
— very inopportune for successful fishing — and I came to
the conclusion that our "catch" would be small under the
circumstances. I have never seen, however, a better spot
for fishing, and had I been on the ground and trolled from
the bank, instead of on the water — it being then the mid-
dle of the day — I am quite certain that I should have had
rare sport. The creek is bordered by wild land on each
side, and the water grass and lily pads are just the place
for fish. After moving up the creek a number of miles,
we turned back, Robert, my colored oarsman, calling at a
negro hut for something to eat. Here was a rare sight to
see ; a mother and six children sitting in the dirt together.
When nearly opposite the point where I caught the bass,
I hooked another and secured it. It was a much finer
fish than the first. We returned to Jacksonville at 4 p.m.,
against a strong wind and tide, and found our party at the
landing awaiting my return.
It was drawing near the time when we were to bid fare-
well to Jacksonville. After tea we settled our bills and in
the evening went down to the steamboat David Clark^
and slept on board. She was to start for Savannah at 3
o'clock in the morning, and sailed on time, but when on
her way about 30 miles she suddenly stopped, and no
coaxing of the captain or engineer could make her budge
one inch. We were just at the mouth of The Sisters, a
creek 15 miles long, and so narrow that two boats could
not pass at some points. The tide was rising, which was
in our favor. All were on deck at once to see what was
going on and inquire regarding the mud's adhesive quali-
ties. By and by she started as if to free her keel from the
sticky encumbrance, the boat being so arranged that she
could back one wheel and push ahead with the other.
She had not gone far before she came to a stand again ;
but not for long, however, and she came off headed for
Fernandina, at which place we expected to arrive by
12 M. It is exceedingly interesting, as well as novel, to
make one trip, at least, through these marshes ; not that
there is so much to see, but it is interesting to see what a
steamer can do when handled in a skilful manner while
passing among them. We were fortunate in seeing a pel-
ican, and several shots were fired at him, but, although
they fell around him like hail, not one seemed to touch him.
One gentleman remarked that the bird seemed to think
some one was feeding him with corn, he minded the shot
so little. I couldn't see how he was le(a)d to this conclu-
sion. It caused a good deal of merriment to see him sail
along so unconcernedly, as if in defiance of the sharp-
shooters. Many porpoises were seen in the lakes likewise,
with game everywhere on water and on shore; ducks,
crane, blue heron, gulls, blackbirds, crows, in infinite
We arrived at Fernandina at i p.m., the weather very
hot. We were now out of Florida, and I was not very
sorry. Florida may possess a good climate for those
troubled with lung difficulties, but for those afflicted with
rheumatism, I do not think, from careful observation, that
it presents any advantages. The nights are damp, and
there must, naturally, be a good deal of miasma from the
low, swampy condition of the land. Jacksonville is Jlai
and catches all the northern Jlats^ and as the weather is
quite debilitating, it makes one teeljiat^ which is not very
flattering to the place or its visitors. I have mentioned
very little about the Florida negroes, but they maintain the
characteristics of their race. They are the same happy-
go-lucky set, rejoicing in their freedom, though in St.
Augustine I found an old negro woman who regretted that
she couldn't go into slavery again. Many of the negroes
are small farmers, and their farming management is pecu-
liar. For instance, I am told that in ploughing, when a
negro gets to the end of the last furrow, he leaves his
plough in it until the next season, hangs his harness on the
nearest fence, and permits his mule to lunch upon his straw
collar, so he has to make a new one when the time comes
for using it again. How the poorer ones live it is hard to
tell. I asked a negro at Jacksonville what he lived on.
"Yanks (Yankees) in winter and catfish in summer," was
his quick reply, and it may serve as well for other sections.
But there is a new ambition awakened among the better
classes of the negroes, who are intelligent and industrious,
making good citizens in their new freedom, and having
their own bank accounts.
We left Fernandina for Savannah by the ''Inland
Route," which I have previously described, to touch at
Brunswick, where we arrived at 7 p.m. Thence we went
to Savannah, where we docked at 12 o'clock, and immedi-
ately proceeded to the Pulaski House, my old hotel of
twenty-five years before. The same rule of good rooms
and a good table was still observed, but the house bore
evidence of passing time. My first object in Savannah
was to look up some of my old friends, but few of them
were left to greet me. Claghorn & Cunningham were
still in business, and I had an interesting interview with
Mr. Claghorn, who was exceedingly glad to see me after
so many years. He was a major general in the War of
the Rebellion, but no allusion was made regarding national
affairs. I met, also, Mr. H. B. Luce, the former keeper
of "our house." These were all Jthat were left of my
former friends. " Bonaventura," the beautiful cemetery
which we visited, holds the remains of most of them in
trust. This celebrated cemetery, with its gothic-shaped
arches formed by the moss hanging down from the live-
oak trees that line the driveways, was owned formerly
by the Wiltbergers, and was private property when I first
visited Savannah. Colonel Wiltberger, formerly proprie-
tor of the Pulaski House, has a splendid monument there.
The city gave evidence of great prosperity, having recov-
ered very rapidly from the effects of the war. Marked
changes had taken place since my former visit. It had
extended up the river and at all other points. The con-
tinuation of Bull street was a great improvement, with the
beautiful park at the end, in which there is a fine fountain
that gives grace to the vicinity. Just beyond there is a
new park, occupying several squares, with a Confederate
monument in the centre. There are some charming resi-
dences in Savannah, and in all respects it is one of the
finest cities in the South.
As we were to remain in the city over Sunday, we were
told not to miss attending the Savannah market, a great
point of attraction on Saturday night. It is called " Negro's
Night," because on this evening all the colored population
of Savannah congregate there. We accordingly visited
the market, and a novel scene presented itself. There
were thousands, representing every shade of color and
condition, who were purchasing or interviewing or idling,
and a more indescribable Babel of tongues could not exist
anywhere than was there exhibited. All were equally
clamorous, from the vencrables of either sex to the young-
est who appeared to feel that this night was indeed theirs,
as it had been from long custom, and they needed no
Fourteenth Amendment to strengthen their claim. A
better-natured crowd it would be impossible to imagine,
with whom traffic and social intercourse were equally
blended, and their clear voices and happy laughter rang
on the evening air like unwritten music, with a careless
and happy abandon, the light flashing from the torches
illuminating the congregated faces and giving a weird
appearance to the scene. To those unaccustomed, the
whole was very interesting and amusing, and to stand
quietly by and listen to conversations carried on in the
quaint negro dialect, or to note the processes of trade with
the customary altercations regarding prices, afforded a
very funny opportunity for studying the negro character.
One feature was striking, the negro politeness that dis-
tinguishes these people in their intercourse with each other.
This rarely fails, and the "sar" and "ma'am *' are seldom
omitted in conversation. In trade, however, "sharp is the
word," and many funny exchanges of tongue were observed
that denoted shrewdness and cunning. The market is a
flne large building and well arranged, but the outside, on
"Negro Night," is most attractive. *The stalls are bounti-
fully supplied, and everything can be had from a yoke of
steers to a spring chicken. Beef cost i6 cents per pound,
shad IS to 50 cents apiece, the shad being the largest I ever
saw. There were trout, mullet, bass, sheepsheads, etc., in
great quantities, but the hungry crowd made them beauti-
fully less. Our marketing done, we returned to the hotel,
where we spent Sunday, making new acquaintances and
confirming our good opinion of Savannah.
We left on Monday morning for Augusta, Ga., on our
way North, by rail, inspired by the hope of soon reaching
home. ''By rail," at the South, however, does not always
imply speed or comfort, and we did not seem to advance
with a movement accordant with our anticipations. Hav-
ing gone over so much of the Southern territory, and each
succeeding scene seeming but a repetition of that which
we had just left, the journey grew wearisome. The same
" shiftless " condition of things, so disgusting to Miss
Ophelia in "Uncle Tom's Cabin," prevailed everywhere,
with negroes and hogs preponderating, of which the latter
seemed the most energetic, provoking the remark from
one of our party that hogs appeared to lead in respect to
industry, for they did, at least, root for a living. One
thing, however, was active and annoying. The air was
active with a perfume not that of "Arabia the Blest,"
and at every wayside station it was evident, but more
especially at a junction where we took our dinner. It
grew intolerable, and every one wondered what could
cause it. We remembered the former Libby smell, and
queried whether the state of Georgia were going into
guano manufacture in order to produce a higher cultiva-
tion. The nuisance continued until we reached Augusta,
when we discovered that we were on a mixed train, with
freight cars attached, two of which were loaded with
We immediately left Augusta for Aiken, S.C, under bet-
ter auspices, but with little change in the aspect of things.
Aiken is regarded as being probably the best place at the
South for invalids troubled with bronchial difficulties. .
Many accord it this pre-eminence, its elevated position and
pure air conducing to health. There certainly was a
better air attending our approach than that which followed
us to Augusta, and there was, besides, an air of cleanli-
ness and thrift about the place that warranted our good
opinion. The ''standing committee" was large that wel-
comed our arrival at Aiken. It was an awfully hot day,
and as we were alighting from the train the cry, " Hab a
close carriage f Missus?" almost drove the ladies frantic,
awakening the memory of Jacksonville. We were beset
by negro hackmen, who seemed to come in battalions,
surrounding us persistently with a zeal worthy of New
York. "Hab a bonding house. Missus?" yelled one,
when a darkey, rushing past, cried in a stentorian voice,
*'Dem don't want no bonding house. Dem's gwine ter
Highland Park House, dem is. Dem don't want no
bonding house, dem don't." So we went to the Highland
Our stay at Aiken was very limited, though the place
seemed to possess many interesting features, and, in the
language of the negro song, —
" We're off to Charleston, so airly in de mornin',
We're off to Charleston, afore de broke o' day."
MY THIRD TRIP TO BRUNSWICK
AND THE SOUTH
PRIL 2, 1883. Having made arrangements for
a trip South, I embarked, with Capt. W. F.
Goldthwaite, upon the steamer Old Dominion^
of the Old Dominion line between New York
and Norfolk, Va. At 3.30 p.m. we started upon our voy-
age, 'steaming down New York harbor among its crowds
of sh'ipping and amid infinite variety of scene on shore
and wave. The large Cunard steamer Scythia passed us
as we neared the Battery. Staten Island and the Narrows
wore their usual pleasant aspect, and at the Qjiarantine
ground there were several steamers waiting permission to
enter. In the offing, steamers and sailing vessels of all
varieties of rig presented a lively spectacle. One of the
former (the Werra of the German Lloyd line), ploughed
her way majestically through the water, a leviathan among
the smaller craft. There were fishing vessels bound in
with supplies of fish for the New York market, and tugs
towing ships and barks out to sea. Coney Island and
Rockaway were on our left, and Sandy Hook light ap-
peared away to the right in the distance. We passed the
lightship soon after, and then skirted along the Jersey
shore, now well on our Southern track, reminded of simi-
lar experiences on board the Bermuda in 1880. The
harbor scenes which present themselves to one sailing out
of New York are ever changing, but the grand ground-
work remains unchanged, the same yesterday, to-day,
After supper we strolled upon deck, but though the
evening was fair, the air was too cool for the enjoyment
of a seat. I found diversion in becoming acquainted with
my fellow passengers, and later enjoyed quite a chat upon
North Carolina farming and the raising beef and mutton
for market, in which a man from North Carolina named
Smith had the floor most of the time. We turned out early
next morning and after a very good breakfast, passed the
forenoon in social intercourse with the passengers, which
was enlivened by anecdotes and tales of personal adven-
ture. A Mrs. B. H. Cutter indulged in a lecture on the
evils of smoking to quite a number who were enjoying
their pipes and cigars. She singled out for special effort
a young Virginian who used the " weed " pretty freely, and
that young man will not soon forget the old lady's lecture.
One thing noticeable was the good humor with which she
treated the subject, though she was met with all sorts of
arguments and excuses. Success, I say, to the old lady I
About noon we passed the lightship on Five Fathom
Bank, and an officer standing on the paddle box threw
a package of newspapers to the lightkeepers on board —
a real blessing to those so isolated. Soon after we passed
Hog Island Light, with seventy-five vessels in sight nearly
all coming out of Chesapeake Bay. After dinner we were
opposite Smith's Island, fifty-five miles from Norfolk,
and at 3.30 we were off Cape Henry with clouds of
sail in sight. At 5 p.m. we passed the Rip-Raps, with
Old Point Comfort, Fortress Monroe, and the big Hygeia
Hotel in full view to the right of us, Newport News a few
miles up the bay, and the little island of Hampton — all
historical places, their names suggesting some of the most
active scenes of the late war. On these waters the little
" cheese-box on a raft " (the Monitor) furnished breakfast
for the huge iron-clad Merrimac that required the whole
Confederacy to digest. The cheese in that box was mitey
beyond all precedent. We arrived at Portsmouth, Va., at
6.30 P.M., and crossed the ferry bridge in the rickety
creakity old 'bus that runs to the hotels in Norfolk. The
•* Southern element " here began to show itself among the
darkies, with strange phizzes and tattered garments, filling
the air with their merry laughter. We found quarters at
the Hotel Virginia.
It had been a cold winter, followed by a backward
spring, but at Norfolk the climate was mild compared with
that of New York. The evening of my arrival I took a
walk about town with my friend Goldthwaite and stopped
at a barber's shop to get shaved. The colored barber gave
my boots which were cloth-covered an awful stare, and,
before adjusting his towel or making any other preparation,
said, in a most astonished manner, as I placed my boots
upon the foot-rack, —
" Well, Boss, yer don't kotch cold in dem shoes. Whar
on earth did yer come from, that you hab to wear such
shoes as dose ? "
I told him I had just come out of a snow bank, and it
seemed almost as if the barber shivered while he shook
with laughter. While I was occupying the chair a gentle-
man entered, a little above medium stature, and sat down
near the door. He immediately entered into conversation
with the '*Bos8 Barber," and I learned from the confab
which ensued that he was a newspaper reporter. During
a pause the barber broke out :
"Why, golly," said he, "I's neber so pleased in my life
as I was when I heer'd about dat scrape you got into las'
night. Dat was de best ting out. I'b laughed about it
all day long. Why, golly, what did you let 'em fool ye
My curiosity was much excited by what I heard, and I
listened closely to get an explanation of the remark made
by my tonsorial friend. The man wore an astonished look
under his broad-brimmed slouch hat, and it seemed that
he was debating in his mind whether to get angry or laugh
at the remark. I learned that a "job " had been put upon
the " gentleman of the press " by some mischievous chaps
who had gone to his house and roused him up at 2 o'clock
in the morning by a bogus story of a bank robbery. One
of the banks, they said, had been robbed and the robbers
had been caught and lodged in jail. He got up and, with
his informants, rushed to the jail where two men who
had been arrested for some common offences were pointed
out to him as the bank robbers. He immediately tele-
graphed to the " New York Herald " a full account of the
robbery with an elaborate description of the robbers, even
to the diamond studs they wore in their shirt fronts and
other minutiae that suggested themselves to a newspaper
man's fertile fancy. The reporter was irritated that he had
been hoaxed, and the barber's bantering "touched the raw,"
but he restrained himself.
"I s'pose," said the shaver, "dat youll telegraph to de
* Herald,' and contradic' dat 'ere story."
" Not by a sight," said he. " No, sir ; catch me say-
ing anything about it. It is enough for me to say what I
did ; let somebody else contradict it. Go to change every-
thing that don't turn out just so, and you would have your
hands full. No, sir — no contradiction in mine."
We remained in Norfolk only over night, and early next
morning, April ^, prepared to take the first boat for Old
Point Comfort. Bidding adieu to "mine host," we took
the 'bus and after some severe tossing and tumbling, as if
there were a heavy sea running, we reached the wharf
where the steamer lay. Our baggage on board, the whistle
blew, and soon we left the old city of Norfolk behind us
with all its outs and inns^ particularly glad that we were
out of the Virginia inn. We retraced our course down the
Elizabeth river, crossing the mouth of the James, and here
we had a magnificent view of the surrounding country.
We took breakfast on board, and had what a Yankee
would call a " good feed." The whistle sounded again, an-
nouncing our arrival somewhere, and we came slowly up
to the wharf at Newport News, where some of the passen-
gers landed who came on with us from New York. This
place had undergone a great change since the war. A
company of capitalists were constructing large wharves and
storehouses suitable for the terminus of the Chesapeake
& Ohio Railroad. It was proposed to take the great grain
product of several of the Western states to Europe by this
We made but a short stop at Newport News and then
sped on our way for Old Point Comfort which we reached
in about thirty-five minutes. Fortress Monroe has had its
attractions in the past and in war times was a point of
deep interest towards which the eyes of the nation were
turned, but at the present time it yields the palm to the
famous Hygeia Hotel, only lOO yards from the Fortress, at
the confluence of Chesapeake Bay and Hampton Roads.
This hotel is capable of accommodating looo guests; I
did not care to stop there, however, and sought convey-
ance to the Little Point Comfort Hotel. We passed up the
road to the carriage stand where conveyance may be had
to and from the boats and accommodation between whiles
for visitors. We encountered there the confusion of tongues
of Babel and, after a struggle about equal with that of
Saint Paul at Ephesus, we obtained a carriage for Hamp-
ton about three miles distant. As we approached the
stand, as many as thirty black drivers rushed at us pell-
mell like so many flies after a drop of molasses, and such
a siege as we had to stand ! Of the thirty, twenty-nine
had to be disappointed, and competition ran high. We
passed through the black cloud — that had no silver lin-
ing but the silver shekels we were to pay for convey-
ance — to make our selection of the carriages, and when
we had done so then began the fun and sarcasm of those
left out in the cold. All were united in the opinion that
we had made a very bad choice, and what a chattering of
unfavorable comment arose — "enough to deave a miller."
" Dem wheels wants greasing," cried one ; " Dat ere top's
shaky," said another; ''Der boss '11 never get dar, shu,
he's so lazy," put in a third, and the whole twenty-nine were
equally encouraging and complimentary. It was a comi-
cal scene, and the greatest good-nature prevailed among
the contestants. We agreed upon terms with our chosen
driver, but when he saw our heavy baggage consisting of
two large bags, he demurred.
"Well, Boss," said he, looking at the "traps" with a
serio-comic expression that only a Southern darkey can
put on, " I'll do as I said, but I tink yer oughter gib me
sebenty-fibe cents ef I take dem big verleses 'long. Yes,
Massa, it am wuff twenty-fibe cents extra, shu, to take
'* Go ahead, my boy," said I, " and if you do the job well
you shall have the extra quarter."
He grinned his thanks, performed his part of the con-
tract satisfactorily, and received his " extry," leaving us
safely at the Little Point Comfort Hotel, where we found
excellent accommodation. The hotel had been erected the
year previous and was kept by Mr. B. Barnard, formerly
a New York landlord. It was furnished in a first-class
manner, and its appointments throughout were well-suited
to the wants of those desiring a quiet and healthful resting
place. Mr. Barnard we found to be a good specimen of
the " fine old English gentleman " and one well calculated
to give perfect satisfaction to all who might place them-
selves under his care. Mrs. Barnard, the landlady, was
well fitted for her station and won, by her courteous and
motherly attention, the profound respect of her guests.
The tables were spread bountifully with all the good things
attainable, and we can say that we found everything desir-
able in this regard. The servants were civil and polite
and added greatly to the credit of the well-ordered house.
"You remember, I suppose, all about the war?" I re-
marked to one of the waiters as my friend and myself sat
at the table, the other guests having left.
"Oh, yes," she replied, "I 'member all 'bout de war.
I's older dan folks tinks I is. I'm married, and got two
boys a'most growed up. Oh, yes, I 'member bout de war.
My missus she died from grief cos she lose her niggers.
But dar's one women in dis yere place dat won't die, cos
she's mad all de time. I see her putty of en, and I ax her
what she wear dat tick wail ober her face fur. She says
she don't like ter see de niggers cos dey dress so nice."
"Did you see General Butler?"
" Oh, yes, I see de general lots of times. Dere am a
school here call' de Butler School, an' you ought to go
dar an' hear the chil'n sing. Oh, yes, I see de general.
He had his headquarters ober to Newport News. You
look jes like him, Massa. He short an' fat, jes like you
To such as seek rest and the recuperation of their vital
forces, I would recommend a sojourn at the Hotel Comfort,
Hampton, Va. After dinner, on this first day of our arri-
val, we took a 'bus for the great Hygeia Hotel and from
there to Fortress Monroe for a call upon Gen. Eben
Sutton of North Andover. We returned in time for sup-
per and in the evening attended religious services con-
ducted by Rev. Mr. Mitchell who was holding a very
profitable series of revival meetings.
April £. The weather had changed very much, and the
warm June-like zephyrs came into our sleeping room in
the morning with grateful effect. After breakfast we con-
cluded to visit the Normal School, Hampton, of which Gen.
S. C. Armstrong is principal, and J. H. B. Marshall,
treasurer. This institution was incorporated in 1870 by
special act of the General Assembly of Virginia and is
devoted to the education of the negro and Indian youth in
agriculture and the mechanic arts and the training of
teachers in these branches. We called at General Arm-
strong's house, but ascertained that he was in Boston on
business. We went to the office and registered our names,
and a gentleman of the establishment conducted us in
company with several other visitors through the several
departments. We visited a number of rooms where negro
and Indian classes were reciting and we witnessed most
interesting scenes in which were demonstrated the patience
and judgment of the teachers and the proficiency of the
pupils. The deportment manifest in the several classes
was excellent. Some of the classes were composed entirely
of girls, others of boys and girls (Indian and negro) mixed.
We visited the printing office of the " Southern Workman,"
a very well-conducted and nicely printed paper published
in the interest of the institution. Leaving the printing
office, we visited the sewing room, shoe shop, harness shop,
tin shop, and the saw and planing mill, where we found
every one busily employed, the operatives being either
graduates or students of the school. At 12 o'clock the
dinner bell rang, and we were invited to inspect the tables
and see the students as they came in to their meal, headed
by their band. This was a novel and pleasant spectacle.
The attendance at the school was then 490, of whom 92
were Indians (70 boys and 22 girls) averaging 18 years,
and 228 negro boys and 170 negro girls; all but 32 of the
students boarded at the institute. The negroes were chiefly
from Virginia and North Carolina ; the Indians represented
some of the most ferocious tribes of the West, but they are
tractable under good treatment, and many graduate with
high distinction. Mr. Dudley Talbot was our conductor
and he paid us marked civility. I was pleased to meet here
Mr. Munroe of New York who that very day contributed
$11,000 as an endowment.
While at Hampton, the amusing side of the negro char-
acter presented itself to me. I was waiting for the return
of my friend who had gone back for an umbrella, when
a good-looking negro with careworn features touched his
hat to me, and, as we were going the same way, I walked
a short distance with him. He told me about the war that
had secured him his freedom and what he had been doing
since. A late afflictive circumstance was that he had lost
his mule ; he was hopeful, however, that he would be helped
out. I gave him a small amount to assist him and, before
we parted, I said, —
''Having a good many meetings here this spring, are
''Yes, massa, most all de churches habin' meetings,
ebery night, white and colored."
"Yes," I said, "I have been in to some of them," and I
remarked that the colored people were pretty demonstra-
tive and that I was not used to that.
" Well, Massa," said he, " dey can't help it. You see
when de debil am into a man he is pretty shu to show de
debil dar ; but when de debil am out an' de Lord in, dey
can't help a-shouting, Massa."
We returned to Hotel Comfort and after dinner took a
walk around the town. It was a pleasant old place, of the
Virginia school, with the element conspicuous. Seeing a
long line stretched across a vacant lot and a negro at
work with it in a very mysterious manner, I stopped and
asked what he was doing.
" Dat am a crab trawl," he answered readily. " It am
most time to catch crabs, and so yer see I wants to be on
hand early so's to get my share."
I asked him to explain the net and the operation of
catching the crabs. This was a new field of fishings and
we felt the deepest interest regarding it.
''D'ye see dis long line?" said he. "Well, dat am to
lay on de bottom ob de ribber, and dese 'ere little short
lines, dey am tied on, ye see, about tree feet apart wid a
loop on de ends dat am to slip-noose on a piece ob tripe,
cos, yer see. Boss, dat tripe am de toughest ting we ken
find 'bout heah. It holds on 'an de crabs can't get it off.
Well, yer see, when we haul up de long line der crabs
dey hang on to de tripe, — dey won't let go, sar — an'
when dey am a'most up to de boat we put a leetle han' net
under 'em, an' den we hab 'em, shu. Oh yes, we get lots
ob dem heah upon de ribber."
He told his story without stopping in his work, and as
we thanked him for his information, he seemed pleased
that he had been able to contribute to our satisfaction.
At Hampton a good story was current that will bear
recording. Mr. Phoebus, proprietor of the mammoth
Hygeia Hotel, had received the nomination of the Repub-
licans for representative to Congress. The colored voters
of the district outnumbered the whites two to one, and the
sable freemen thought this a good occasion on which to
test Mr. Phoebus's love for the colored race. Putting their
heads together, some ten or twelve of them concluded that
they would call on mine host of the Hygeia and spend the
night with him. They accordingly arrayed themselves in
all the finery they possessed and what they could borrow
in the way of white shirts, red neckties, and brass rings,
and waited upon the candidate. Mr. Phoebus greeted
them cordially, when one of them said, —
" Well, sar, spects we's come to stop with you to-night,
Mr. P. was rather taken aback but instantly recovered
himself, for he knew that it would not do to mix colors at
the most popular hotel on the coast, and replied that he
could not accommodate them as his house was full.
"House all full, den, sar?" said the ebony spokesman.
"Yes, all full," replied Phoebus.
"Well, sar, den I spects, sar, you'd better sen' in your
resignation ob dat nomination. Guess you won't get down
to de House dis winter, sar. Dat house, I guess, is full,
too. Don't tink you'se gwine ter walk up Pennsylbania
abenue dis yar time, sar. Guess not much, sar. Good
Mr. Phoebus concluded not to run.
Afril y. We were called at 5.15 this morning, and
after breakfast, at 5.45, we started for Newport News,
by carriage, at 6 o'clock. The morning air was bracing
and the anticipated ride of seven miles did not seem much
of a task. The roads were rather heavy and the land low.
In fact, this is the character of all the ground around here,
with no hills to relieve the monotony. All along the roads
were little negro huts and, occasionally, what might have
been a planter's mansion. We arrived at Newport News
at 7 o'clock to connect with the steamer Nellie White
which did not, however, get along until 8.10, when we
stepped on board for Richmond, Va. Major General
Butler had his headquarters at Newport News, and the
commissary store that he built was still standing. The
James river upon which the town is situated is seven
miles wide at its mouth and is an important channel for
trade, being navigable to Richmond; it is affected by
the tide one hundred and fifty miles inland. Some of
the most fearful scenes of the war were enacted upon the
banks of the James, and the spirit that then prevailed has
not quite died out from many a Southern heart ; not always
manifest upon the surface, but, like our flag, it is ^ still
there." The war brought into notice many places before
scarcely recognized and denominated by gazetteers simply
as " post-office " towns ; Newport News is of the number.
We landed at Ferguson's to leave the mail and then
proceeded on up the river, passing bug-lights and buoys,
until we reached a second landing. These landings all
have a line of railway, as the wharves are very long, and
there is always a boy and a mule at the outer end when a
steamer arrives. At '* Groves' Landing," we found the
highest ground that we had seen at the South, and it
seemed natural and home-like to be elevated a little above
dead level. This place is named from its fine picnic
grounds abounding with grand trees of old growth. The
banks at this point are very much washed, imparting to
the water the color of pea soup. We next touched at
"Island Landing" (the channel below Richmond is full
of islands), then at another landing with a tremendously
long wharf, and at 12 o'clock reached Sandy Point, Clare-
mont, the station of the Claremont & Danville Railroad.
We rested here but briefly and then steamed on to other
''landings" (Brandon's Landing next), and then Sturgeon
Point, just half way between Richmond and Norfolk,
sixty-five miles each way. We passed one of the old Vir-
ginia plantations that retained its former characteristics —
a two-story square house, with houses for the "help" (no
longer '* chattels"), scattered all over the grounds. Here
the shad fishers were numerous, and their nets were dis-
played here, there, and everywhere between the ship
channel and the shore. At 2.45 p.m. we reached City
Point, where five of our monitors were anchored and cov-
ered with thick canvas roofs. At 4.30 we passed through
'* Dutch Gap," the monumental failure of General Butler
during the war, but now employed successfully for the
passage of vessels of light draught. Within a few miles
of Richmond, jetties are built on each side, varying from
100 to 200 feet, to deepen and keep the channel clear.
We arrived at Richmond at 6 p.m., and took carriage
for Ford's, the driver fanning himself and singing all the
way. We were, probably, the only fares he had obtained
for several days. The usual comical scenes occurred at
the hotel, with the bustle of waiters and the officious ser-
vices of the hackmen. '* Stan' roun' dar," said our Jehu ;
'* I'll show yer how to handle dem baggage." The bag-
gage matter adjusted, we found good rooms on the first
floor, and, it being Saturday night, we went to the market,
always prolific of amusement at that time when our col-
ored brethren are particularly demonstrative. The fish-
mongers were especially interesting with their quaint
modes of sale, among which the cry, ** 'Ere's fresh shad
right from de foundry," was conspicuous. The queer
dresses, comical phizzes, and funny incidents attendant on
the trade cannot be effectively described. The scene was
a lively one, and an hour's time passed pleasantly in con-
templation of human nature *Mn the rough."
April 8 (Sunday). "Bro. Jasper's Church" is an ob-
ject of deep interest to visitors, and at 10 o'clock we started
to find it. We reached it after walking some eight or ten
blocks and then found that the service would not com-
mence till 11.30. In the mean time we took an extensive
walk through the " Africa of Richmond " attended by a
sable brother as a guide, who told us many things con-
nected with the war, and what a glorious day it was when
the colored people knew that they were free. '^Nebber
seen sich a day fore nor since," said he, "an* nebber 'spect
to see another ag'in like dat." We returned to the church
in good time, and were seated in one of the front pews.
Brother Jasper soon made his appearance, hat and cane in
hand, and, taking his seat in the pulpit, commenced turn-
ing over the leaves of the Bible. There was singing first,
prayer by another reverend Black, and then Brother Jasper
came forward. He gave out his notices, dwelt a little
upon an ** awdination " which was to take place in the even-
ing — giving the young preacher who was to be ordained
a fine character — and then commenced his discourse from
Luke vi, 22 : ** Blessed are ye when men shall hate you,
and when they shall separate you from their company,
and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil for
the Son of Man's sake."
'^Dere am a plot," he said, "to oberthrow dis yere
church an' your pastor, but I told you, bredren and sisters,
dat dat ar' doctrine am outside de lids of dis yere book.
I Stan' heah in dis yere pulpit to preach de gospel, an' de
doctrine I shall teach am contained between de lids of dis
yere Bible. De tex' say ' an' dey shall separate you from
deir company.' Yer'e all heah to-day singin' psalm tunes,
yer don't sit all togedder but yer'e round heah in bunches ;
but what are yer doin' week days ? Yer get togedder in
de work-shops an' on de kears concoctin' plans ter ober-
throw your pastor. You're de Korah, Dathan, and Abi-
rams, an' I suppose you want to know who Korah, Dathan,
an* Abiram am. Go home de whole ob yer, an' take yer
Bibles an' read de i6th chapter ob Numbers, an' ye'll find
out who Korah, Dathan, an' Abiram am. Dey were false
prophets, an' sat against Moses and Aaron, an' dey were
destroyed ; an' so will you be destroyed who plot against
dis church. De Korah, Dathan, an Abiram ob dis congre-
gation are jus' like a lot of dewdle-bugs. I s'pose I shall
hab to tell you what a dewdle-bug am. Yer go out inter
de pastur' where an oak tree hab been growin' for fifty or
a hundred years, an' is cut down, the stump rotten an' de
groun' mellow all round de roots ; dar's where de dewdle-
bugs make deir holes, dere's where de dewdle-bugs lib,
an' de little boys an' girls, when dey are playin' aroun',
put deir mouths down to de holes an' say ' Dewdle bug,
dewdle-bug, yer house is on fire 1 ' An' what do de dewdle
bugs do? Dey don't stop to see about deir chil'n nor de
house neider, but dey come out an' back right away. Dey
nebber go for'ard, an dey am just like de Korah, Dathan,
and Abirams. Dey go backward, backward, backward,
an' nebber go forard."
I have given but a small portion of Brother Jasper's ser-
mon, but, suffice it to say, he was listened to with marked
attention throughout. The sermon was lengthy, and, as
the large audience left, we lingered behind to shake hands
with the preacher who manifested much pleasure at the
interest we took in him and the Godspeed we bespoke for
his mission. After leaving him we returned to the hotel
where we spent the day quietly Juntil evening, when we
attended Brother Holmes's church. It was the occasion of
a missionary address by a white Professor of Richmond,
and I think I have never seen so many colored people as-
sembled in one room before. The services were exceedingly
April p. After breakfast we improved the time remain-
ing of our short sojourn in Richmond by taking a carriage
for notable places that I had before visited. We left Rich-
mond for Brunswick, Ga., at 3.17 p.m., passing over the
long railroad bridge by the splendid falls of the upper
James, took tea at Welden, and there embarked on the
sleeper for the night. We arrived at a point outside of
Charleston, S.C., at 6.30 a.m., and proceeded on our way,
with little of interest transpiring, for Savannah, Ga.
Breakfast on the car was a new experience to me. Mr.
and Mrs. Benson and a Mr. Peich of New York city we
found very agreeable company, and we enjoyed much
pleasant conversation with them. The patronage of the
railroads seems to indicate increasing popularity ; the travel
to and from Florida, which we encountered along the line,
bore evidence of this, though at this season of the year
most of the travel was Northward. We arrived at Jes-
sup's Junction at 2.25 p.m., one hour late, and took dinner.
We were compelled to wait here until 6 p.m. to connect
with a train from " elsewhere," and in the mean time were
afforded amusement by passages of sentiment between a
Pennsylvania soldier and a Confederate soldier from Bruns-
wick, Ga. The tongue sparring was lively and exciting,
but I am happy to say that good-nature prevailed on both
sides. Leaving Jessup's Junction, we arrived at Bruns-
wick at 8.15 and went immediately to the Nelson House.
April II. Arose early, and, stimulated by a good
breakfast, I was ready to look around Brunswick and note
the changes that had occurred since my visit of five years
previous. These changes in the varied scenes of life add
to the sum of human knowledge and remind us of the
fleeting nature of everything earthly, impressing upon our
minds the reflection that here we have no abiding place .
As I looked out from the balcony of the hotel, my mind
naturally turned to the incidents attending my visit to
Brunswick thirty years before, and the scenes of that busy
time passed before me like a diorama, with the ship Agnes
and Capt. J. Edwards Scott the main features. The visit
of five years before was also recalled, the scenes of that
day placed in contrast with those which now appeared
before me. I found that the shipping had greatly in-
creased within the last five years, and buildings for busi-
ness purposes were going up on every hand. Dwellings
were also being erected, and a healthy indication prevailed
that the old hope for the place might some time be real-
ized. The Savannah and Florida boats still ran to Bruns-
wick and other points ; the railroad business was on the
increase, and everything wore a lively aspect. The Nel-
son House had been been built four years — a pleasant
and commodious structure. The northerly air was like
June, balmy and refreshing.
I called upon Mr. William Anderson, my old friend
Friedlander's partner, and had a pleasant time in recalling
old Brunswick as I first saw it. From there I went to see
Mrs, John Brooks, then eighty years old, widow of my
old-time friend. She had a wonderful memory of the
town when it was really in its infancy, and we recalled
many incidents of the times so interesting to both of us.
She came from Wiscasset, Me., to Brunswick in 1853.
Captain Scott was a native of the same place.
I strolled around town with my friend, and during our
walk I pointed out to him the ground of my early experi-
ences, where the iron was landed, where the old hotel
stood, etc., but the land was now converted into sites for
railroad shops, and all was but as a dream of the past.
Even statistics of the past were hard to obtain, but we did
find files of the '' Brunswick Advocate " as far back as
1837, from which we learned that John Davis was pro-
prietor of the Oglethorpe House on January 8 of that year,
James Moore in 1838, and that the house was built in 1836.
This stunning intelligence was relieved from any serious
effects by a paragraph stating that " the Great Western
steamship had arrived at New York from Bristol, England,
April 15, having sailed from Bristol March 23, 1837."
We had dinner at i p.m. and at 2.30 took the steamer
for St. Simon's Island, with a view to remaining for a
few days if things were pleasant there. The wind was
southeast and cooled the atmosphere to a grateful tem-
perature. It was a good time for reflection and repose,
the cares of business left behind and the mind free from
the many perplexities and irritations that make life a bur-
den. The body at such time recuperates, when the mind
relaxes its vigilant control and nature has the opportunity
of attending to its proper business. A healthy reaction
is the result. Nature's work, under the mind's jealous
attention, is like that of a good mechanic with an overseer's
eye superintending his task, very likely to be spoiled from
too close watchfulness. Our steamer was the Ruby^ on
board of which we met Dr. R. J. Massey, the Brunswick
correspondent of the '* Advertiser and Appeal,*' who gave
us an interesting account of St. Simon's Island. Georgia
was settled in February, 1733, and Governor Oglethorpe
settled Frederica on St. Simon's sound in 1736, several
years before the settlement of Savannah. Georgia was
divided into two districts — the Savannah and the Frederica
— presided over by a judge and his marshals and other
oflBcers of the court, who officiated in their gowns and wigs
with just as much pomp as if they were members of an
English court. Frederica was the residence of Governor
Oglethorpe for many years. Wesley and Whitefield la-
bored about there with but indifferent results.
The Spaniards of Florida were hostile to the colony,
and a body of them came from St. Augustine to break it up.
A battle ensued on St. Simon's Island, at a place still called
''Bloody Marsh," in which the English were victorious,
killing their assailants by hundreds. Bloody Marsh is on
the easterly end of the island, about two miles from the
lighthouse. This lighthouse, made of tabby, which had
stood for many years, was blown up by the Southerners
during the rebellion. There are large sawmills upon the
island. The doctor informed us that the climate there was
several degrees warmer in winter and cooler in summer
than in many Southern localities. We remained upon the
island but an hour or so, ''prospecting." St. Simon's
Island would make a good winter resort for Northerners
seeking health, and in the near future there will doubtless
be a large hotel erected on this island for the accommo-
dation of winter visitors. Boats land there from Jackson-
ville, Fla., and from Savannah and Brunswick, Ga.
We returned to Brunswick. This town ought to pro-
gress faster than it does, but the wealth of Savannah gob-
bles up all the railroads running into this part of the coun-
try, and poor Brunswick, not blessed with capital, has to
suffer. This seems pretty hard, and I am afraid that our
children will grow old before it becomes the very large
city its founders contemplated, that was to rival Savannah.
It is a pity that such a good seaport, with such natural ad-
vantages, should not fare better.
April 12. We took breakfast at 6.30 and soon after
embarked again on the Ruby^ bag and baggage, for St.
Simon's Island. Captain Dart of the Ruby^ I found to
be the son of one of my old Brunswickers, who had died
only six weeks before, aged eighty-three years. I had a
pleasant talk with Captain D. on the subject of fishing in
St. Simon's sound. Fish are abundant and the varieties
many, the principal ''catch" in the sound being whiting,
drumfish, rockfish, bluefish, trout, bass, mullet, and sheeps-
head; on the outer banks red snapper, grouper, and
blackfish; besides there are oysters, clams, and crabs in
abundance. Yet, although fish are so abundant and in
such variety, there are really none to make fishing for
market a business, and the query arose in my mind why
some Northern men had not ere this established fishing
stations in these waters with Savannah and St. Simon's
their headquarters. Terribly stupid, it seemed to me, for
the people here to keep this rich sea-mine un worked.
Another thought presented itself regarding the lack of
enterprise at the South. Here right handy was all the
timber growing and all the material to be used in making
vessels, and yet all ^unimproved. The^stump of the tree
that was cut down to make the stem of the Constitution
still remains on St. Simon's Island.
We arrived at 8.30 a.m. and went immediately to Mrs.
Arnold's pleasant boarding-house, a large square edifice,
with a veranda all around it, facing the southwest. The
air was truly delicious and admitted of no thought but the
charm of drinking in pleasant draughts of nature's recu-
perative element. Rheumatism must, it seemed, " get up
and get " when brought in contact with such a balmy at-
mosphere. After dinner, we returned to the piazza where
we sat awhile, I keeping my mind easy, for my old enemy
did not dare to show head nor shoulder for fear of getting
scorched. None can desire more than an easy mind and
a body free from pain, and here the mind ran on in pleas-
ant reverie while nature cared for the laden receptacle of
food. Better than " good news from a far country " is
that condition where " good digestion waits on appetite
and health on both." The roses were in full bloom
just in front of us, and, only a short distance in the
rear, saws were buzzing to the tune of 100,000 feet of
lumber per diem, 600,000 per week, and 31,000,000 per
We procured a wagon and started for a visit to the light-
house. The vehicle was not unlike a small lumber or hay
cart with heavy wheels ; the horse and fixings were very
fair for that country. The driver was a negro boy, fully
up to the ragged standard, who sat upon a stool in front,
while we occupied the wagon seat which had no cushion,
thus compelling us to stand or sit upon our own resources.
The start was not swift, and as we proceeded over the
rough and rutty road, not sufficiently traveled to be any-
where smooth, we felt that, like Jordan, 'twas " a hard road
to trabble." On our way we passed a negro settlement,
the houses of the framed kind, but cheaply built ; then a
schoolhouse of rough exterior, with from five to a dozen
children in attendance, and then to some tabby houses oc-
cupied by whites. These houses are built of cement and
shells, the material growing harder by exposure to the
atmosphere. We next plunged into the woods, where the
road dwindled into nothing more than a Northern cart
path, and soon we lost our way, having taken the wrong
track. Still going on, we came to a negro hut. We
accosted the occupant :
"Can we go to the lighthouse by this road?"
"Yer on de wrong road," was the reply; "Yer oughter
hab took de road 'way back dar ; yer can go dis way but
it will take yer out ter de beach, 'way 'bove der light, an'
is farder. Ef yer want ter go, yer can follow my cart
tracks, an' yer will come out all right."
Three generations of negroes, comprising fifteen in num-
ber, lived in that little framed house, and they were all out
on inspection. We started as directed and for a short
time got along well enough, but soon the palmetto leaves,
low down, covered all but the dim outline of an imprac-
ticable cart track, and we went thumping and bumping
along among the pine-tree roots, grazing the trees right and
left. Presently we came to a "fork," and now the question
arose, "Which should we take?" When a man guesses
about a thing regarding which he knows nothing, he gen-
erally makes a mistake, and we proved no exception to
the rule, for after a few minutes we brought up against a
fence. There was a gate, however, but we did not open
It, as the stentorian voice of a stalwart negro working in
a field near by, hailed us with the remark, —
" Yer on de wrong track, Boss, if yer goin' to der light-
house. Yer can go dis way, but yer better go back an'
take der cart track to der beach."
We retraced our way but did not go back far enough,
and mistaking another place for the '* fork," we took a nigh
cut and soon found ourselves " all at sea " while looking
for the beach. We wandered around in the woods for
some time, now and then coming out into small openings,
and by going this way and that we managed to find our
way out. We drove past the entrance to the lighthouse
grounds and shortly found ourselves down upon the beach
on the easterly side, a mile or more from our destination.
The beach was as hard and smooth as a billiard table, the
island on its entire south and east sides being skirted by a
beach, with no rock-bound coast. We reached the light-
house at last, and the keeper came out to greet us.
" Good afternoon, gentlemen," said he. *' Get out and
come into the house, where you can sit down and rest
This we did, for the jaunt had given us an appetite for
the rest that the keeper invited us to.
" How long have you been keeper here? " I asked him.
"Only a short time here," he replied. ''I used to be
over on Little Cumberland ; was there eight years."
" Don't you get lonesome here? "
'* Well, 'tis a kind of lonesome place, but we manage to
get along ; my wife looks after the hens, and we go out
occasionally and shoot some game."
" Does your wife shoot? "
** Shoot ! I guess youM think so if you should come out
in the kitchen and see three fine ducks she shot this after-
noon. Shoot ! ril bet she'll beat me any time. Come,
let us go up into the light ; I guess it won't tire you out."
We followed, as requested, and saw that the inside of the
lighthouse had been newly whitewashed.
"There," said he, pointing to the walls, "don't you call
that pretty good whitewashing, and I didn't spill a drop,
scarcely, from top to bottom."
After we had reached the top :
"There, gentlemen," said he, "you see one of the finest
lights in the country. It is getting towards night, and I'll
take off the curtains. Here I sit all the time during my
half of the night. I'm not like some fellows who turn
down the lamps and go to sleep. No, sir ; that isn't me.
Now come, I want you to go down and see the wife's
hens. She's got some of the nicest hens you ever saw."
I have thus wagged the keeper's tongue instead of my
own, but while he was talking I was taking in the view
from the lantern, which was very fine. Jekyl, Cumber-
land, and the surrounding country were in full sight loom-
ing up before us. The old lighthouse I alluded to as hav-
ing been blown up by the Southerners during the war was
built just after the war of 1812. When the contract was
drawn, it was so worded that stone, or other material
equally good, should be employed in the construction of
this lighthouse. This was a stroke of shrewdness on the
part of the contractor who owned all the old tabby houses
in Frederica and could work all their material of shell
and cement into the new lighthouse. The present light-
house was built just after the war ; it is constructed of
brick and is 105 feet high. The brick was made in the
We left the lighthouse and the beach, well pleased with
our visit, taking back for our next day's dinner the ducks
that the keeper's wife had shot. We again mounted to our
unpadded seat in the wagon and moved on our way back
to the hotel. We were more fortunate in returning, as we
came back the regular way. We passed a good many
negro habitations and a negro church. This was a per-
fectly plain framed building with shutters instead of win-
dows. In front, suspended from a pole run out from the
side of the house, was a piece of an old circular mill
saw, about two feet long by eighteen inches wide, that
served as a bell for the church; when this was struck,
the sound could be heard at a distance of two miles. We
arrived at the "hotel" at 6.30, well satisfied with our after-
noon's excursion, more interesting from the varied inci-
dents attending our search for the lighthouse.
April /J. After a good night's rest and breakfast I en-
joyed a lounge upon the piazza overlooking St. Simon's
sound, and devoted the customary time to writing up my
diary. To sojourners the island is almost "out of the
world," so to speak, but it is a comfort to be where one
can commune with nature and let the great, bustling,
restless, discordant world, with its politics, its strife, its
greatness, and littleness, take care of itself for a season.
The mail is the connecting link that still keeps the recluse
in touch with the outer world, however he may wish to
At II A.M. we visited the immense sawmill belonging to
the " Georgia Land and Lumber Company," organized by
W. E. Dodge, Esq., of New York, owning some 300,000
acres of land in the interior of Georgia. There were then
100 men employed cutting timber in the forests, to be
taken by rail thirty miles to the Altamaha river, from
whence it was to be rafted down to the mill ; one hun-
dred men were ready there to receive it and reduce it to
lumber. Some seasons double the number of men are
employed. Two fine circular and gang saws were in con-
slant use. All the slabs and refuse were burned. Mr.
Warren Fuller, a Massachusetts man, had charge of this
mill, and he resided on the island eight months of the
year. We found him a gentleman in manners, interested
in church and society, and superintendent of the Sunday
School. On our return we enjoyed a dinner that could
hardly be surpassed at the North ; fresh fish, teal, black
duck, green peas, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, rice, apples,
lemon cakes, and tea. Good enough for any one North or
April 14.. The morning opened pleasantly with the
wind a little easterly. At 8.30 we started out for a walk,
and at the wharf met Dr. Massey. Afterwards went to a
small plantation to the eastward and, on coming to a fence,
inquired for Mr. Johnson. The person addressed was one
of the staple population.
"Nex* house, sar," said he; *'Yer see de missus settin
by de winder dar."
Upon reaching the house pointed out to us, we interro-
gated another " image of God cut in ebony."
*' Is this Mr. Johnson's house ? "
"Is he at home?"
*'No, sar; he out back ob de house to work. Heah,
you little gal, go show de gemman whar yer fader
The girl trotted off to find him, and it was amusing to
see the little thing, one of the standard color, carry her
baby brother, a chap about the size of a black duck, on
her back, she clasping her hands behind her, and he sit-
ting on her arms with his arms around her neck. We
found Mr. Johnson, and he was very communicative ; he
was in Tallahassee, Fla., when he became free.
"Oh, dat was a great day," he said, "when the jubilee
come, an' de slabes were all sot free. De white Yankee
come an' took me and twenty-fibe bosses, all ob us, up to
To the inquiry about his family he smilingly said, —
"Oh, yes. Boss, I has got seben chil'n."
"You have a young wife, then?" I said.
"Yes, sar, my fuss wife she had seben chil'n, an' she
died, an' all the chil'n but one. Yes, I hab had twice
seben chil'n, fourteen in all."
"How old is the oldest?"
"Oh, well, I reckon he is about so old" — holding his
hand about three feet from the ground.
" Can you read ? "
" No, sar, but I's gwine to teach der chil'n to read, so
dey shall know der right from der wrong."
" Why don't you learn ? "
"Well, yer see, massa, my eyesight am gibin' out, but I
want the chil'n to larn so us dey can read ter me."
" Have you a church here ? "
" Oh, yes, sar ; I goes to der Fus' Baptist African church.
We hab a gemman come down from Savannah once in two
months, who preaches to us."
^ Any other preacher ? '*
^ Oh, yes, sar ; we hab anoder man dat preaches when
de Oder don't."
We went from Mr. Johnson's to another place and in-
terviewed a negro who has spent all his life on the island.
He was a servant before the war and travelled with his
mistress. After he was free he got $15 per month, which
princely income he was then enjoying as a free man.
Such interviews are interesting, inasmuch as they draw
out the negro history before and since the war, and give
inklings of the character of this class of ^* Americans called
Africans," as termed by Mrs. Child.
We took dinner at 12.10 and afterwards sat upon the
piazza awaiting the coming of Dr. Massey who was to
call and see us. We sat and talked with him for an hour
about the early days of Brunswick, including the incident
of my first going there in 1853. The Doctor, in his letter
to the Brunswick "Advertiser and Appeal," had made men-
tion in a paragraph of some facts regarding myself. The
Doctor was called away by professional business, much to
my regret. In the evening we called at a little tabby
building by ''the store" and interviewed the barber. He
gave me a meaty text for a temperance discourse : '' This
would be the worst place in the world if they sold liquor."
April 75 (Sunday). We attended service in the
''Union Church," and listened to Rev. Mr. Dana, a young
preacher, who spoke from the text, "And the last shall be
first and the first last." The hymns were appropriate and
the singing good. The atmosphere was very warm, but a
little breeze from the sea tempered it somewhat and ren-
dered it more agreeable. I felt that I had never been in
a more quiet place upon the Sabbath. We took a long
walk after dinner, which led us into the interior of the
island past one or two little negro churches, one with the
saw bell hanging out in front. We went as far as the
little white tabby settlement. One new man had just come
here and was working some twenty acres from which to
supply the markets of Savannah and New York with green
April i6. This day was to wind up our stay upon St.
Simon's Island. We had seen enough to convince us of
the beauty of the place and its availability as a place of
resort in winter ; it needed but a hotel to make it popular.
How dear to my heart are the scenes of St. Simon's,
As fond recollection brings up the sojourn,
The cabbage, palmetto, green peas, and tomato.
And ducks from the ** lighthouse," done just to a turn.
That queer little island.
That health-giving island,
That sleep-yielding island.
That lies by the sea.
How well I remember the ride through the wild wood,
Where the oak and the pine and the palmetto grow.
The cart track that wildered the boy's stupid driving,
And the horse that we had, so provokingly slow.
That St. Simon's turnout.
That hard-seated fitout,
That darkey's wild drive out,
Down there to the sea.
And now, far removed from that loved situation.
Fond tears of regret will obtrusively flow.
When memory recalls the St. Simon diversion.
And sighs for its pleasures wherever we go.
That pleasant bright island,
That sunshiny island,
That health-giving island,
That lies by the sea.
The evening up to 9 o'clock was passed very pleasantly
in Mrs. Arnold's family circle in chatting about matters
relating to the North and South, until the plash of the
paddle wheels of the steamer City of Bridgton^ coming
through St. Simon's sound, apprised us that the time of
our departure was at hand, and we must bid good-bye to
the island and those who had made our visit there so
pleasant. We took the steamer at a little before 10
o'clock and, the order being speedily given to "let go," we
were once more steaming through the narrow channels
that characterize these Southern waters. We remained on
deck for an hour or two watching the various tutns and
windings among the marshes, until St. Simon's light grew
dim in the distance. It is pleasant to notice the skill
displayed in navigating a boat while making the inland
On the way from St. Simon's Island to Savannah the
boat stopped at " Doboy," where, lying upon the wharf,
among other things to be taken on board, was a lot of stur-
geon. ''Well, Sambo," I asked the black deck hand,
''what have you for freight to-night?"
"Oh, lots ob dem sturgeons, Massa."
"Where were they caught? "
"Right heah in de Altamaha ribber. Set trawls for 'em
nights. Kotch lots ob 'em."
"You seem to have a good many to-night."
"Oh, dat ain't much, dat ain't. Dere ain't moah dan
sebenty-foah. Dat am a small lot. Sometimes we carry
a hundred or a hundred an' fifty."
"They must be fond of sturgeon in Savannah.*'
"Dey don't eat 'em dar."
"What do they do with them? "
"Oh, dey ship 'em up Norf an' can 'em ; den dey bran'
dem *sammon,' an' sen' 'em down Souf for de Suveners to
eat. Yah! yah! yah!"
Leaving Doboy we turned in for the rest of the night*
April 17. Our fellow passengers revealed by the morn-
ing light presented a collection of very ordinary appear-
ance. The steamer's route was so twining that though we
could see the steeples of Savannah but three miles away
ip a direct line we were compelled to travel from thirteen
to fifteen miles to reach the city. When at last we arrived,
all the passengers were on deck, eagerly looking at the
various objects presented to view, — Fort Jackson, rice
fields, jetty construction, lumber loading, etc., and the
several wharves lined with ships engaged in foreign com-
merce. We left the Bridgton and went directly to the
Pulaski House, a place of such interest to me. My
name was first registered on the books "Joseph Warren
Smith, November 8, 1853 ; " second time, March, 1878 :
third time, April 17, 1883. The last time, Joseph W.
Smith called for letters, and the clerk said, " Oh yes, we
have been looking for you," handing me quite a package
of letters, — as many as twenty. (I received twenty-one
at Richmond.) After reading my letters, we went out to
breathe the fresh air, but found, instead, clouds of dust
that had been blowing about the streets from time immemo-
rial, and had grayed the whiskers and inflamed the lungs
of past generations. We were glad to retreat to dinner,
after which we took the street car for Thunderbolt and
Bonaventura, along with quite a number of our fellow pas-
sengers on the steamer Bridgton, This car ride was very
amusing, illustrating the slow and slack way in which
everything is done in this part of the country. We walked
back from Thunderbolt to Bonaventura, and, after looking
around for half an hour, returned by the car. It was get-
ing late in the afternoon when we arrived, but we thought
we would call at the Boston and Savannah Steamship
office and bespeak passage for Boston, and were lucky
enough to secure the last stateroom. No. 29, on the upper
deck of steamer City of Columbus. I closed the day by
writing letters and part of my journal, and then retired for
April 18. Took a walk after breakfast with nothing
especial happening. I improved the occasion by calling
on my friend John Cunningham, of the old firm of Clag-
horn & Cunningham associated with my visit in 1853, and
I had a pleasant interview with him, during which he told
me about his trade and failure, together with his expe-
riences before and since the war. Mr. Claghorn had died
since 1878. After leaving Mr. Cunningham I went to see
Octavius Cohen, son of Octavius Cohen of the firm of
Cohen & Fosdick, with which I did business in '53 and '54,
and then called on Mr. Baldwin, whose father I likewise
remembered as partner in the firm of Brigham, Baldwin &
Company. It was at Savannah as at Brunswick ; the boys
of my early visit had taken the place of my contemporaries
at that time, and but few were then old enough to remem-
ber the incident of the ship Agnes. I went down to the
wharf and saw the steamer Tallahassee sail for New York,
and then went on board the City of Colv/mbus^ where I
met Mr. Joseph Shattuck atid two of his daughters, who
were to be our fellow passengers to Boston. While look-
ing at some clay in a lighter alongside, it was remarked,
pleasantly, by one in authority, —
" There is some clay that is going into candy for you
Northerners to eat."
I turned the laugh on him by relating the story of the
sturgeon, canned as salmon, for the Southerners to eat.
I spent the evening very pleasantly with Mr. Shattuck and
April I g. I went out to the market before breakfast.
The town was on the quivive in anticipation of the arrival
that morning of President Arthur, who was expected to
stay until Friday. He had arrived at Tybee the evening
previous, after a very rough passage from St. Augustine,
Fla. He was to have a reception in the Savannah Ex-
change. As we were to leave in the City of Columbus
before that time, the opportunity was not afforded us for
paying our respects. Meanwhile, we amused ourselves
by looking about the city. One point of interest to visit
was the park, and a half hour's sojourn there well repaid
us. This park, one of the ''lungs of the city," had every-
thing well arranged for convenience and comfort, and its
advantages were generally availed of by citizens who
sought relief from the city's heat in the enjoyment of the
balmy air and cooling shadows that it afforded. From the
park we went to visit the library and reading room at the
W. B. Hodgson Hall. Here were several models of
steamers of old and new construction. One was that of a
steamer that crossed the ocean in 1819, the first that ever
dared the undertaking ; on the opposite side of the room
was the model of the steamer City of Savannah^ built
in 1876, that ran for some time between New York and
Savannah, and then was in the Philadelphia line. A full-
length portrait of W. B. Hodgson graces the hall that
bears his name. We returned to the hotel for dinner, after
which we bade good-bye to the gentlemanly clerk of the
house, and left for the City of Columbus at 3 p.m., where
we arrived just as Mr. Shattuck and his daughters were
driving upon the dock. At 4 p.m. we started and moved
slowly down the river among the anchored shipping which
was dressed in gay attire to welcome the President. We
passed, at a distance, the United States steamship Talla^
foosa^ having him on board. Savannah has nearly five
miles of wharves, of which one obtains a good view on
leaving the city. We passed Fort Jackson and had a good
view of the rice plantations along the shore. We moved
very slowly, as our draught of water was as much as the
channel admitted, and, as it was, we must have touched
along the muddy bottom. We passed Tybee at 6.30 p.m.,
and soon the bell buoy and lightship. The last buoy passed,
and then we found ourselves on the open sea, shaping our
course about northeast. Supper over, we strolled upon
deck in pleasant conversation with Mr. Shattuck. We
retired at 10.30 and slept till near 7 next morning, ^ rocked
in the cradle," wrapped in happy dreams.
April 20. We were ploughing along at the rate of 12
knots an hour, and that meant our arrival in Boston on
the 23d. The fresh air stimulated appetite for breakfast at
8 o'clock, though there were not so many at table as the
day previous. I was introduced to the master, Capt. S.
E. Wright, and found him a very agreeable person. We
were now opposite Frying Pan Shoals and witnessing the
performances of a school of porpoises, some quite near the
ship. The sea was white-capped, but comparatively smooth,
though the steamer rolled somewhat. A colored rever-
end, T. G. Campbell, was among the passengers, and I lis-
tened to an argument between him and a New Bedford
man, in which the latter got terribly worsted. The sub-
ject of discussion was the existence of a God. The col-
ored divine had an exalted idea of human nature, and gave
evidence that those who awakened him on " Freethinking "
or IngersoUism would find their match. At 12 o'clock we
still maintained our rate of speed (12 knots) and nearly
all the passengers were on deck studying, reading, and
chatting. The sea, above all places, for pure air and ap-
petizing influences I The water was blue and clear and
in striking contrast with the muddy rivers, sounds, and
creeks of Georgia and Florida. At dinner we enjoyed a
pleasant conversation with a man who had been in Florida
since the fall before and had become very familiar with
the country. There was likewise an elderly gentleman
from New Bedford on board, who was at St. Simon's
Island at the time of our visit. About 4 p.m. the wind
veered around to northeast and became quite a gale. The
staunch ship, however, breasted it in most approved man-
ner, her prow unswerving in the contest.
April 21. We were still making good time, with many
of the passengers seasick, obliged to succumb to the inex-
orable command of old ocean. Mr. Shattuck bore him-
self up sturdily, but his daughters were both ** under the
weather." To the sailor, and those unajEfected by the
commotion of the waters, a rough sea gives pleasure ; but
to the susceptible, the *^ sad sea waves " are sad indeed^
and the song with that name they don't care about sing-
ing, except when on shore and accompanied by a piano.
We were reminded that we were not alone on the deep by
passing a steamer, supposed to be one of the Charleston
line to New York. We whiled away the morning hour by
gathering in a group, such as were able, at the stern of
the steamer, and discussing general matters which we
settled to universal satisfaction. After dinner we took up
the thread of talk, and continued in conversation, diverted
occasionally by the appearance of small craft going north
or south. The close of day left us looking for mackerel
catchers off the coast, some thirty miles away^i but none
appeared. The evening was delightful, the moon in the
ascendant, and we exchanged the thought of the land we
were approaching for that of the land of nod.
April 22 (Sunday). This morning we found that the
weather had changed, the wind east, and the prospect not
very favorable for the day. Long Island was now in
sight, and we should pass Block Island about ii o'clock,
crossing over to Vineyard Sound. One New York steamer
was in sight and several schooners, close in shore, were
making their way southward. We passed Montauk Point*
reached Block Island at 12 m. and made for Gay Head.
I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman from
Fort Fairfield, Me., on the Aroostook river. He had been
in Florida since January, enjoying the warmth of the
Southern climate, in such contrast with his home^ where*
he told me, he had seen the mercury 43 degrees below zero.
At 2.30 we passed Sow and Pigs and Cuttyhunk lights,
also a mackerel fleet of twenty schooners, lots of coasters,
and three-masted schooners, and a steamer bound for New
York, heading into Vineyard Sound. The wind was still
east, and rain threatening. Passed the islands at the en-
trance of Buz2:ard's Bay, and saw many vessels at anchor
in Tarpaulin Cove. At 3.45 p.m. we passed Woods HoU,
where vessels were lying at the Pacific Guano Works, and
at 4.30 Oak Bluff, and saw a large fleet of vessels making
for Holmes HoU to avoid the coming storm. The wind
was southeast, and everything indicated a " dirty night."
The weather was cold, and a Dutchman on board, who had
packed his overcoat in his trunk, gave us some square talk
about leaving his coat where he could not get at it. Others
had done the same, thinking they would need neither under-
clothing nor overcoats. At 5.50 we passed Cross Rip light-
ship and caught a dim glimpse of Nantucket ; then shaped
our course for Massachusetts Bay. At 8 p.m. a snow-
storm set in ; at 9.30 we sighted Nausett light and at 10
made Highland light. We were at the wharf in Boston,
snug and fast, by 4 a.m., and took the train for Andover
The City of Columbus was built by John Roach at
Philadelphia, in 1878, for the New York & Savannah
line of steamships, and was bought by the Boston &
Savannah Steamship Company. The Gate City was
built also by Roach, and the two formed the line between
Boston and Savannah.
Alas for the Columbus 1 She was wrecked off Gay
Head in January, 1884.
BRUNSWICK IN 1901
WAS staying for the winter at Pinehurst,
N.C., and thought I would like to look in on
Brunswick, Ga., once more. So when Mrs.
Smith and I left Pinehurst in February on a
little journey to Florida, we planned to take in Bruns-
wick on our way. We arrived at Brunswick via Everett
Junction at 6.30 p.m., having enjoyed for a part of our
journey the company of a Mr. Meyer, who gave me
a good deal of information about Brunswick of to-day.
A peculiar but interesting feeling came over me as I
stepped from the train at Brunswick, and I could scarcely
realize that I was the young man who came there in 1853
to send the ship Agnes away to New York. There was
not a thing to show where the ship Agnes discharged her
cargo of railroad iron. The new Oglethorpe House had
been built upon the site of the old house of the same
name. In 1853 the ground in front of the hotel bordering
on the sea was marshy ; this had all been filled in and
built upon. The land where I piled up the iron and, in
fact, all the land in the rear of the present Oglethorpe was
taken by the railroad station and railroad tracks.
We had an amusing experience at Everett when we
were obliged to wait some three hours to make the con-
nection for Brunswick by rail. We asked a man at the
station, who was evidently connected with the railroad,
what he had to show us. He was quite ready to talk and
''We have alligators, galley rippers, raftsmen, poor
whites and rich niggers, chills and fever, and fish." He
proved to be a genius, and when we asked him about the
razor-back hogs running about loose, he said, —
''These are not razor backs ; these are fat hogs. If you
want to see a razor-back hog, you must go into the woods.
Why, they are just like a bicycle, they have got to keep
travelling or they would tip over, they are so thin ; put a
newspaper on one side of them and you could read through
"What about the frogs? " said I.
"Oh, they are not making much noise now, you ought
to wait till evening ; the concert begins then and when I
go to bed it is at its highest pitch."
"Do the lumbermen and raftsmen ever trouble you?"
" Oh, yes, they come out of the woods and go to the
saloon and get full, and we have lots of trouble with them.
We are obliged to keep weapons to save ourselves."
Everett looked quite deserted except when trains hap-
pened to meet there to pass one another.
Mrs. Smith and I went out for a walk in Brunswick and
took the Main street down a few streets below Gloucester
street and crossed over to the docks wending our way to-
wards home along the water front. There were three large
steamers belonging to the Mallory line taking in a cargo
of turpentine and resin, and one steamer unloading rail-
road iron. We came up as far as a point straight down
from the Oglethorpe and found nothing to show that a ship
ever laid anywhere near there in the days of 1853. The
land had all been filled in and the territory was all owned
and occupied by the Southern Railroad Company. But I
could see in my mind's eye just how everything looked in
1653 and 1854. ^ ^^^^^ ^ raikoad down upon the wharf
and brought the railroad iron on a platform car up to a
point above highwater mark and neatly piled the iron in
eight square piles ; but nothing remained to show where I
landed the iron on the shore. Brunswick had taken a
good start since the days of my first visit and there seemed
to be a good deal of young blood in the place. With grow-
ing railroad facilities it should become a good lumber,
cotton, and turpentine shipping-port for years to come.
We called one evening upon Mrs. Charles Moore who
was connected with the family of the late John Brooks of
Wiscasset. John Brooks, Jr., is still living near Bruns-
wick. We also called on William Anderson, the partner
of the late Mr. Friedlander who had died some twelve
years before. Through Mr. Anderson I met John E.
DeBignon whose uncle Charles I knew in 1853. Nearly
all of my former acquaintances who were living in 1853
had passed away.
At our table at the hotel, there were several young men
who were in business in Brunswick, among them two law-
yers and a clerk in the Southern Railroad office. One of
the lawyers, Mr. F. E. Twitty, has had an office in Bruns-
wick for seven years, and he told me many interesting
things about Brunswick of to-day. Mr. CD. Ogg also
supplied me with a good deal of information.
A drive about the city showed me the great changes that
had taken place and I was pleased to see the improve-
ments in the business section where substantial brick
structures gave the place the appearance of a prosper-
I met Capt. Urban Dart of the little steamer Egmont
which plies between Brunswick and St. Simon*s Island.
Seventeen years ago, in company with the late Capt. W.
F. Goldthwaite, I went down to St. Simon's Island and
stayed a week at Mrs. Arnold's boarding house.
Jeykl Island, which I had visited years before, had been
purchased by influential citizens of New York who had
spent much money in beautifying the island. A fine
steam yacht plies between Jekyl Island and Brunswick.
I left Brunswick with the good wishes of all my old
friends and my new acquaintances. After a month's stay
in St. Augustine, Savannah, Augusta, and Camden, S.C.,
I returned home and was in Ando ve r on April first.
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